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Four reasons you should care about food waste

That’s an unusually bossy start for me, isn’t it??

What can I say? Food waste is something I’m passionate about. 😉

And I think you should be too. Here’s why:

1. Wasted food = wasted money.

For a long time, I didn’t really think about this like I should have. Moldy red peppers and rotten chicken don’t exactly resemble dollar bills, but really, it’s what they are.

Food is kind of like money dressed in a different outfit, and once you can see a moldy cucumber as a dollar, you’ll be much more motivated to use it up so that you don’t have to buy another one.

2. Wasted food = wasted effort.

Someone had to plant, water, harvest, package, and ship the plant foods you throw out, and the effort required to raise animal foods is nothing to sneeze at either.

The labor would be worth if it the food was eaten, but when the food is just thrown out, the labor is wasted.

3. Wasted food = wasted planetary resources.

The food we buy and don’t eat didn’t just use human effort…it consumed an awful lot of natural resources too. Plants and animals require water, fertilizer, and food, and the packaging/shipping end of things uses oil and paper, among other things, and produces pollution.

Again, all that isn’t so bad if the food is actually eaten, but when we buy the food and don’t eat it, we’ve used resources for nothing.

4. Wasted food = methane gas

The food that we send to landfills doesn’t compost and turn into lovely dirt. That’s because landfills don’t provide air or light. And when food rots without sufficient oxygen, as it does in a landfill, methane gas is produced.

If all of that doesn’t motivate you, consider that people in many parts of the world would give anything to have access to food like we do. Wasting pound after pound of food is just ridiculous when there are starving people in the world (maybe if we wasted less, we’d have money to donate to organizations that help provide food and water to people in need.)

What You Can Do

If you’re routinely filling your trash can with food and you’re feeling discouraged by it, take heart! I used to throw away tons of food (check out how much I wasted even after I started working on my food waste), and I’ve now got my food waste pared down to a reasonable amount.

Change is possible, dear readers.

Now, simply eating more food is obviously not the solution to the food waste problem…instead, you want to use your food more wisely so that you can buy less food than you currently do.

For help with that, read my Top 10 Ways to Reduce Food Waste post to learn about the techniques I used to turn myself into a lean, mean, low-waste machine.


Fellow food-waste-fighters, what one habit/activity has been most effective in helping you reduce your food waste?

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Brooke Hart

Thursday 20th of April 2017

I would like to share a true story. I am an engineer by trade and have worked with many other talented engineers. " Fred " had a friend that owned large chicken houses. Think commercial size . The friend went on vacation and Fred agreed to watch over the chickens while the friend was gone . Fred forgot to turn on the fans in the chicken house. Fred returned to find hundreds of dead chickens. Dead chickens require immediate attention. The smell is unbelievable. Large evacuation equipment was brought in and a very large hole was dug . Chickens were buried. Sometime afterwards , Fred arrived to find chickens shooting out of the dirt like fireworks. Methane gas at work. This turned out to be a costly mistake at so many levels. We now eat leftovers or freeze them before cooking a new meal. In the last few days the Washington Post has published numbers on food waste that break my heart.


Thursday 20th of April 2017

We compost what we can, feed our chickens what we can and freeze a lot of bits and pieces. The bits and pieces eventually become soup or soup stock which we use or donate to a local church for their soup suppers.


Monday 5th of December 2016

Thanks a lot for the information. You see I have cousins who do not seem grateful of what they eat they waste food. Last month my cousins and I went to a buffet and one of them waste a WHOLE plate of Mac and cheese, bacon, and ham. I told him that he had wasted food and I said "please try to get how many food you can eat then", but he said "it doesn't matter" and I said "yes it does" then my other cousin back him up and said "Yeah it doesn't matter it's just food" and I kept telling them it does matter and they made fun of the kids in Africa. I waste food myself, but every time I receive food I mostly eat it all even if I'm full. Every time I waste food I feel guilty. One of my cousins will have a b-day party soon and he said he wanted crawfish for his party. I definitely disapprove of his request because every time when we have a crawfish party we waste A LOT of crawfish it hurts me to see how many innocent animals are being wasted just like that. One time we have a lot of left over crawfish from a party we had and I finished all of it even though I was already full half way eating it. I just wish my family can be grateful for what they receive and also do not waste that much food. Not all of my cousins are jerks! Just some, but not all.

David Liddle

Friday 27th of April 2012

Someone mentioned that when they waste meat they think of the innocent animal that was killed to provide that meat, I watched a movie recently called "Food Inc." I GUARANTEE that if you watch that movie - it is available at the Library - there will be a lot less innocent animals being killed!! I cut beef out of my diet almost completely after watching this! Chicken, I am sure to buy only organically, humanely raised chickens now. You will not believe how the animals that we eat , especially cows and chickens, are treated. I am still having nightmares!

Melody, Countrified Hicks blogger

Wednesday 25th of April 2012

Another thing we do is we have the same meals each week. I made a list of all our usuals that everyone liked and narrowed down the list to everyone's top picks. Since we have the same meals that everyone enjoys, we have less waste also. Makes grocery shopping a lot easier too. One other benefit, since I make the items from scratch, and do not use processed foods, my husband has been able to cut down on his insulin usage!

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