Benefits of Reducing Food Waste
In the United States, food is wasted across the supply chain from farm to fork. According to the EPA, roughly 96% of discarded household food ends up in the landfill while only 4% is composted.
Along the entire food supply chain, it is estimated that almost 40% of all produced food is discarded with most going directly in the landfill. Wasted food not only costs consumers money (over $218 billion annually), but also contributes to your individual and household greenhouse gas emissions. If you want to calculate your carbon footprint and learn how to reduce it, visit coolclimate.org or earthhero.org.
Reducing food waste and your carbon footprint benefits the environment, your pocketbook and all of humanity.
Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions
- Reducing food waste in our communities is imperative to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. When food enters the landfill and is not composted, it breaks down into carbon dioxide and methane both of which are greenhouse gasses and contribute to climate change.
- Consuming food helps not only reduce emissions from the landfill, but also ensures that all the resources put into producing food are not wasted.
Reduce Food Insecurities
- An estimated 1 in 5 Americans are food insecure and do not have access to nutritious food on a regular basis. Reducing food waste increases the amount of available food in the supply chain that can, hopefully, be consumed by everyone.
- According to the USDA, the average family of 4 wastes roughly $1,500 annually on food waste. Making an effort to reduce your household’s food waste will result in a direct savings for you and your family.
What can you do?
- Luckily, reducing your household’s food waste is simple and starts with your grocery list. Planning ahead by taking inventory of what you already have and purchasing only what your family will use can go a long way to reducing food waste. Donating food that is still good to your local food depot reduces both food waste and food insecurities in communities!
- Consider starting backyard composting at your home (the EPA has great tips to get you started) and be sure to participate in Los Alamos County’s food composting program to be available in 2025.
Other tips to reduce food waste:
- Take the Food Prevention Week Pledge at foodwastepreventionweek.com and encourage friends and family to join you!
- Follow these food storage tips at foodwastepreventionweek.com.
- Use savethefood.com/guestimator/guests#guest-container to help estimate how much food you should make guests.
- Watch a video from the USDA at www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPtj-ukCcYE for more ways to reduce food waste.