Feed People Not Landfills Taking on the Food Waste Challenge

Here are two facts that capsulize the incongruity of hunger in the United States and highlight the role of food waste in perpetuating hunger and food insecurity.

Nearly 40% of the food produced in the U.S. ends up in the trash.
50 million people in the United States sometimes don't know when or where they'll get their next meal.

While 1 in 6 Americans are food insecure, the typical family of four throws away 25% of the food they bring home each month. That includes:

40% of the fresh fish, 20% of the milk and 23% of the eggs they bring home.
...and about 22% of the fresh fruits and vegetables they buy. In fact:
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American family spent $4,000 per year on groceries in 2013, or about $330 each month.


The lowest-income families, those who make less than $10,000 per year, spend about $200 per month on groceries.
In other words, the typical household throws away 2 to 4 months worth of groceries each year.

How does your family do in the food waste follies? Try taking a Food Waste Challenge to find out how much food (and money!) you can save by reducing the amount of food your household throws away each week.

There are five steps to trimming food waste in your household (which will save you money, help the planet and make you feel good and virtuous!)
  • Measure the amount of food you waste each week so you have a baseline to help you figure out what kind of foods go to waste in your house and why. That will help you plan strategies to reduce the food you throw away.
Stop Food Waste has created an easy Snapguide to help you figure out how much food your household throws away each week.
  • Planning is vital to reducing the amount of food you throw away.
  • Before you shop, take stock of what you still have in your fridge and cupboards so you don't buy more than you need.
  • Plan meals and shopping list together to help you shop for just what you need this week.
Plan your grocery shopping meal by meal so you know exactly what you're planning to do with each item you buy. That doesn't mean you should avoid the sales - in fact, meal planning can be even easier when you know what's on sale.
Shop smart with these tips from savvy shoppers.
  1. Check your pantry and refrigerator.
  2. Make a shopping list based on meals for the week and what's on sale.
  3. Try not to shop on an empty stomach to avoid impulse buys.
  4. Limit the amount of fresh produce you buy to what your family will eat in the first few days.
  5. Shop farmers markets! One of the undersold features of farmers markets is that you can buy exactly the amount you need instead of being stuck with prepackaged amounts from the supermarket shelves.
  6. If you can, buy less food more often. Less food in your fridge is less food to go bad.

Store Food Properly to Make It Last Longer

Some handy tips on where to store which foods...

Cook enough, not too much!

  • Portion control isn't just about healthy eating - it also helps prevent wasted food.

Get Creative with Leftovers

  • Five Ways to Use Them Up Before They Go Bad

Use up greens, veggies past prime and herbs along with bones and leftover meat to make stock for homemade soup.

Divvy leftover veg and meat into muffin tins, fill tins with beaten egg or egg substitute, top with cheese and bake until set. Voila! Mini quiches!

Add just about anything to an omelet - it's not just for breakfast anymore!

Learn the art of creative casserole design....

Mix together leftover vegetables and meat...

Mix with...

.. noodles,...
... or pasta,....
...or rice...

Toss with....

cheese sauce ....
...or gravy...
or red sauce...
... or barbecue sauce...
.... or white sauce...

Top with...

seasoned bread crumbs....
...or crushed chips (experiment! Corn chips, potato chips, tack chips - they all work!)
...crushed cereal - just skip the sugar-sweetened ones!

Cover and bake at 350 F. until heated through and serve!

Divvy up leftovers in individual meal servings for easy snacking and lunch prep.

Created By
Worcester Food Policy Network
Created with images by jbloom - "plate scraping" • petrr - "untitled image" • Simply Polar - "Dinner 23 February 2013" • artphotography - "beauty in the trash" • Conor Lawless - "Milk" • chrstphre - "EggShells" • dbreen - "carrot kale walnuts" • danperry.com - "Groceries" • JoyintheCommonplace - "list plan phone" • Kai Hendry - "Our typical shop at Morrisons"

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