The average American wastes about a pound of food each day – or 150,000 tons of food worldwide.
In efforts to combat food waste, some cities are requiring composting, restaurants are moving away from unnecessary plastics like straws, and people are using up foods that they’d once discard (i.e. broccoli stems).
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in collaboration with the University of Vermont and the University of New Hampshire, released their food waste findings in the scientific journal Plos One this week. The data also found that people with higher quality diets, or people that ate healthier, wasted more food, probably because they’re buying more produce.
“Eating healthy is important, and brings many benefits, but as we pursue these diets, we must think much more consciously about food waste,” Meredith Niles, one of the study’s authors, told Newsweek.
Wasted food doesn’t just go to the garbage, and the problem’s solved. These foods that can be eaten or reused soak up 4 trillion gallons of water and takes up 30 million acres of cropland space every year.
If you want to do your part to reduce food waste at home, check out Stephanie Izard, who shared her tips for reusing the parts of vegetables that usually get thrown in the garbage. Food & Wine’s staff members also shared their tips for keeping waste to a minimum in your kitchen.
And if you’re dedicated to reducing food waste and taking your environment cleanup to the next level, then you can consider growing your own food. Brent Preston, author of The New Farm, which chronicles his experience of starting his own farm in Canada, talked to Food & Wine about 7 ways you can grow vegetables, even if the only extra space you have is a fire escape.
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