Preventing Food Waste

Naturalnews.com
Originally published July 19 2014
Easy ways to prevent food waste from the comfort of home
by Antonia
FOODS_CELERY5
(NaturalNews) It’s estimated that in America, about 133 billion pounds of food go to waste annually. The waste exists for a variety of reasons, ranging from expired or forgotten foods in household refrigerators to regulations that do not permit retailers to sell foods that are bruised, misshapen, or otherwise deemed unattractive.

Several efforts to stop food waste from occurring exist, including one food cooperative in Portugal called, “Fruta Feia,” or “Ugly Fruit,” named after a blotchy, multi-colored fruit that, while edible and healthy, is often thought to be too ugly for consumption. In Europe, where 89 million tons of food is wasted yearly, the food cooperative has been successful at providing farmers with foods the that European labeling system would have tossed.

While many people may not easily be able to get involved with an effort as large as the Portugal one, there are things that people can do right from the comfort of their home to prevent food from going to waste.

Lesser-known parts of foods that can be eaten, planted

First, think twice about throwing out the parts of foods typically considered not edible.

In many cases, they are edible. For example, watermelon rinds with the green outer layer of skin peeled off, are edible and even contain antioxidants that fight free radicals.(1) Additionally, the skin of kiwi can be eaten; considering that it has three times the amount of fiber than the flesh, it’s a healthy idea worth trying. The same goes for the core of a pineapple, which is filled with nutrients known to fight pain and inflammation.

Second, know that not only can some of the foods that are typically discarded be eaten, but they can be planted so that new growth can be ingested.

Rather than throwing out the base of celery in favor of the stalks, rest the base in a bowl of shallow water. In about one week, new shoots will grow, which can then be transplanted in a garden.(2) As for carrots, the tops can also be set in shallow water since the greens that sprout upwards are edible. According to the World Carrot Museum, their leaves are extremely nutritious, with six times more vitamin C than the root. Plus,they also have very good amounts of potassium and chlorophyll, which help regulate blood pressure and act as a blood purifier.(3)

Another tip to help reduce food waste is to plan trips to the store or farmer’s market in accordance with what is truly needed, so as to not end up with excess food that ends up spoiling.

Also, trying new recipes is a additional way to make use of food products. Rather than sticking to tried-and-true meals, why not consider adding parts of foods that would typically be discarded or that are nearly expired? You might be surprised at the incredible new flavors and certainly will benefit from the extra dose of nutrition.

Sources for this article include:

(1) http://rawandnaturalhealth.com/healthiest-parts-foods-may-overlooking/
(2) http://themindunleashed.org
(3) http://www.carrotmuseum.co.uk/carrotops.html

About the author:
A science enthusiast with a keen interest in health nutrition, Antonia has been intensely researching various dieting routines for several years now, weighing their highs and their lows, to bring readers the most interesting info and news in the field. While she is very excited about a high raw diet, she likes to keep a fair and balanced approach towards non-raw methods of food preparation as well.

Read more: http://rawandnaturalhealth.com/author/antoni…

A science enthusiast with a keen interest in health nutrition, Antonia has been intensely researching various dieting routines for several years now, weighing their highs and their lows, to bring readers the most interesting info and news in the field. While she is very excited about a high raw diet, she likes to keep a fair and balanced approach towards non-raw methods of food preparation as well. Read more: http://rawandnaturalhealth.com/author/antonia/

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5 Simple Things Consumers Can Do to Prevent Food Waste

Five Simple Things Consumers Can Do to Prevent Food Waste | Nourishing the Planet.

 

Five Simple Things Consumers Can Do to Prevent Food Waste

January 18, 2012 – By Graham Salinger

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), reports that an estimated one-third of the food produced worldwide for human consumption is wasted annually. In the United States, an estimated 40 percent of edible food is thrown away by retailers and households. In the United Kingdom, 8.3 million tons of food is wasted by households each year. To make the world more food secure consumers need to make better use of the food that is produced by wasting less.

Food waste remains a large factor contributing to food insecurity around the world, but consumers can help reduce the amount of food that is wasted each year. (Photo credit: Back to the Garden Inc)

Today, Nourishing the Planet presents five ways that consumers can help prevent food waste.

1. Compost: In addition to contributing to food insecurity, food waste is harmful to the environment. Rotting food that ends up in landfills releases methane, a potent greenhouse gas, that is a major contributor to global climate change and can negatively affect crop yields. Composting is a process that allows food waste to be converted into nutrient rich organic fertilizer for gardening.

Compost in Action: In Denver, the city contracts with A1 Organics, a local organic recycling business, to take people’s waste and turn it into compost for local farmers. Similarly, a new pilot program in New York City allows patrons to donate food scraps to a composting company that gives the compost to local farmers.

2. Donate to food banks: Donating food that you don’t plan to use is a great way to save food while helping to feed the needy in your community.

Food Banks in Action: In Atlanta, Georgia, the Atlanta Community Food Bank relies on food donations to supply 20 million pounds of food to the poor each year. In Tennessee, the Second Harvest Food Bank works to reduce waste resulting from damaged cans by testing the cans to make sure that they don’t have holes in them that would allow food to spoil. For more on how you can donate food that would otherwise go to waste, visit Feed America, a national network of food banks.

3. Better home storage: Food is often wasted because it isn’t stored properly which allows it to mold, rot, or get freezer burn. By storing food properly consumers can reduce the amount of food they waste.

Better storage in Action:  The National Center for Home Food Preservation (NCHFP) is a great resource for consumers to learn a range of techniques to increase the shelf life of food. For example, they recommend blanching vegetables, briefly boiling vegetables in water, and then freezing them. They also stress canning fruits and vegetables to protect them against bacteria.

4. Buy less food: People often buy more food than they need and allow the excess food to go to waste. Reducing food waste requires that consumers take responsibility for their food consumption. Instead of buying more food, consumers should buy food more responsibly.

Buying Less Food in Action: Making a shopping list and planning meals before shopping will help you buy the amount of food that is needed so that you don’t waste food. There are a number of services that help consumers shop responsibly—Mealmixer and e-mealz help consumers make a weekly shopping list that fits the exact amount of food that they need to buy. Eating leftovers is another great way to reduce the amount of food that needs to be purchased. At leftoverchef.com, patrons can search for recipes based on leftover ingredients that they have.  Similarly, Love Food Hate Waste, offers cooking enthusiasts recipes for their leftovers.

5. Responsible grocery shopping: Consumers should make sure that they shop at places that practice responsible waste management. Many grocery stores are hesitant to donate leftovers to food banks because they are worried about possible liabilities if someone gets sick. But consumers can encourage grocery chains to reduce food waste by supporting local food banks in a responsible manner.

Responsible grocery shopping in Action: Safeway and Vons grocery chains donate extra food to Feeding America. Additionally, Albertsons started a perishable food recovery program that donates meat and dairy to food banks. The Fresh Rescue program, which partners with various national supermarkets,  has also helped food banks with fundraising in 37 states.

Do you know of other simple ways that consumers can help in reducing food waste? Let us know in the comments section!

Graham Salinger is a research interns for the Nourishing the Planet project.

To read more about food waste, see: Reducing Food Waste: Making the Most of Our Abundance, Innovation of the Week: Reducing Food Waste, and Fresh Ideas for Food Waste.