Human activity has been linked to the increasing temperatures across the globe and another factor has been added - increasing number of food waste. Smart ways on reducing food waste could help ease global warming and in the long run, help the planet recover from due damage caused by human activities.
Americans throw out more than one third of the food produced in the country each year and most of it go to landfills, adding up to the burden of waste problems across the globe. An average family in the United States throw away about 23 pounds of food each month which is equivalent to $190 thrown into the garbage.
Researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research revealed that about 14 percent of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture could be prevented if food were distributed and used efficiently.
About 30 to 40 percent of food produced around the globe are never eaten since they're spoiled even before they reach stores and consumers or are thrown away. Food waste is expected to increase rapidly if people in developing countries would follow how people in the West deal with food, including eating more meat.
Ways To Reduce Food Waste
Reducing food waste is important since the world's population is expected to balloon to 9 billion people by 2050, compared to just 7 billion people today. Good habits in saving and efficiently using food is important in order to prepare for the future by not straining the planet's resources.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), reducing food waste helps in saving money from buying less food, reduces emissions like methane gas from landfills and conserves resources by preventing pollution brought about by the processes involved in food production.
Here are some ways to reduce food waste, and in the long run, help ease global warming.
1. Plan For The Week's Menu
By making a list or menu of the meals intended for the week can help save money and reduce food waste. Buying more than what is needed leads to overconsumption of food.
Look into your refrigerator and cupboard to see what you still have. This will prevent you from buying the same food. Buy what you only need but for those who wishes to buy in bulk to save money, make sure you are able to consume the food before it spoils.
2. Store Food Properly
Another problem most consumers face is the proper way to store food items. Consumers should know how to store food properly especially those that can easily spoil in a given time frame like fruits and vegetables.
3. Prepare Perishable Food Immediately
This will help reduce food waste because the more perishable food items are, the sooner they need to be cooked. Freeze and prepare foods which are not planned to be cooked immediately.
4. Take Left-over Restaurant Food Home
Be sure to take restaurant leftovers home and refrigerate within two hours of being served. You can eat this within three to four days. If you can't take food home, be sure to order smaller portions of items in the menu that you can eat entirely.
5. Shop In Your Refrigerator First
Shop in your fridge first before going to the supermarket. Be sure to use up all ingredients in your refrigerator before buying more. This will help you save a lot of money in buying what you already have.
Photo: Nick Saltmarsh | Flickr