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Plant-Based Living

Turning The Tables on Food Waste

Posted on February 24, 2017

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If you’ve ever seen a statistic about how much food never gets eaten and goes to waste, you know the numbers are big. This many million tons per nation or person. Or X amount compared to the volume of landfills or sports stadiums. The big numbers have impact, no doubt. But how about a smaller number? Think 1 in 4. Those are calories. According to the World Resources Institute, one in four calories of all food produced for human consumption are lost or wasted.

That brings it home, doesn’t it? To put it in perspective, a moderately active woman 21 to 45 years old maintains her weight on 2,000 calories a day (USDA). Take away 500 calories day after day after day, and she’s hungry and losing weight. That’s what food waste ultimately translates to. All those calories lost or wasted could be nourishing people close to home and around the world.

The good news is that understanding the issue on a personal level is how we can start making a difference. As individuals, there are some challenges such as food spoilage during harvest or shipment we can’t easily address, but we can do our part where we live. Here are three ideas:

  1. Shop your refrigerator. Before you go to the grocery store or market to buy new food or ingredients, check the fridge or pantry. It’s easy to forget items you bought earlier but never used or even opened.
  2. Preserve your produce. Easier said than done, yes. But knowing how to keep fruits and veggies fresh and enjoying them while they are fresh means they’re fulfilling their mission of keeping you healthy and well-nourished.
  3. Love leftovers night. You’ve heard of pizza night, right? Or Meatless Mondays and Taco Tuesdays. It’s helpful to have a routine. Designate a night or a meal on a regular basis for leftovers, and you might even see a drop in your grocery bill.

And if you buy something and change your mind about using it, before it expires donate it to a local food shelf. Here at Daiya, we donate to food banks in Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal, Portland and more every year.

Together, we can turn the tables on food waste. For more ideas on reducing waste at home, check the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

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