Quantcast

How to Make a Change for Stop Food Waste Day

Food
"Take the pledge today." Screenshot / StopFoodWasteDay.com

Did you know that more than a third of food is wasted or thrown away every year? And that only 25 percent of it would be enough to feed the 795 million undernourished people in the world? That's why today is Stop Food Waste Day, a chance to reflect on what you can do to waste less of the food you buy.

Stop Food Waste Day is an initiative of food service company Compass Group. It was launched first in the U.S, in 2017 and went global the year after, making today it's second worldwide celebration.


"Food waste is a massive issue facing us all," Compass CEO Dominic Blakemore said on the Stop Food Waste Day website. "As the world's leading food service company operating in 50 countries, it is part of our social purpose to raise awareness and make a positive impact to reduce waste across the world."

So how can you reduce your waste? The website offers some tips.

  1. Make a list before shopping and only buy what you need.
  2. Freeze leftovers like bread, fruit and vegetables if you don't have time to eat them fresh.
  3. Be especially careful with meat and poultry because it uses so much water to raise; wasting a pound of beef is like running the shower 370 minutes.
  4. Don't toss wilting veggies; letting them sit in water for five to 10 minutes should revive them.
  5. If you accidentally overcook veggies, use them for soups or sauces instead of tossing them.
  6. Seal food tightly before freezing to avoid freezer burn, which is caused by oxidization and makes food less appetizing.
  7. Eat bananas even if they have brown spots.
  8. If you have children, start them off with small portion sizes.
  9. Ninety percent of people throw away food before it's really bad, so make sure something really can't be eaten before throwing it out.
  10. Check your fridge before shopping and meal plan to avoid waste.

You can also take the Stop Food Waste pledge to spread awareness on social media.

In honor of the day, Rachael Jackson wrote for National Geographic about why so much food is wasted.

One important reason is that people put too much faith in use-by dates. A study found that people were more likely to think older milk was drinkable if it didn't have a date; conversely, milk with a fresher date that was actually low quality was rated just fine by many participants.

Jackson also wrote that people are more likely to let themselves off the hook if they think the food they toss will be composted.

"Composting is not a bad thing, but you'd prefer to not create the food waste in the first place. It's going to have a lot more social and environmental benefits," Ohio State Food Waste Collaborative Director Brian Roe told Jackson.

Several groups and companies are trying to find innovative solutions to the food waste problem. The Brooklyn-based frozen pizza Scraps, for example, uses ingredients like broccoli leaves for pesto that are normally not eaten.

"We'd both recently heard that 40 percent of food is wasted in the U.S. each year, and we talked about how we could become part of the solution," co-founder Jessica Smith told Edible Brooklyn.

UK grocery chain Waitrose found a way to both reduce food waste and fight climate change in 2017 by using gas from discarded food, which produces 70 percent less carbon dioxide than diesel, to power delivery trucks, as Fast Company reported.

In our own kitchens, each of us can also make a change.

"I do think awareness is slowly growing," Waste-Free Kitchen Handbook Dana Gunders told National Geographic. "But I think there's still a disconnect between being aware that this is a global problem and connecting that to what you're actually doing when you scrape your plate into the garbage."

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

New pine trees grow from the forest floor along the North Fork of the Flathead River on the western boundary of Glacier National Park on Sept. 16, 2019 near West Glacier, Montana. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

By Alex Kirby

New forests are an apparently promising way to tackle global heating: the trees absorb carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas from human activities. But there's a snag, because permanently lower river flows can be an unintended consequence.

Read More
Household actions lead to changes in collective behavior and are an essential part of social movements. Pixabay / Pexels

By Greg McDermid, Joule A Bergerson, Sheri Madigan

Hidden among all of the troubling environmental headlines from 2019 — and let's face it, there were plenty — was one encouraging sign: the world is waking up to the reality of climate change.

So now what?

Read More
Sponsored
Logging state in the U.S. is seen representing some of the consequences humans will face in the absence of concrete action to stop deforestation, pollution and the climate crisis. Mark Newman / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images

Talk is cheap, says the acting executive secretary of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, who begged governments around the world to make sure that 2020 is not another year of conferences and empty promises, but instead is the year to take decisive action to stop the mass extinction of wildlife and the destruction of habitat-sustaining ecosystems, as The Guardian reported.

Read More
The people of Kiribati have been under pressure to relocate due to sea level rise. A young woman wades through the salty sea water that flooded her way home on Sept. 29, 2015. Jonas Gratzer / LightRocket via Getty Images

Refugees fleeing the impending effects of the climate crisis cannot be forced to return home, according to a new decision by the United Nations Human Rights Committee, as CNN reported. The new decision could open up a massive wave of legal claims by displaced people around the world.

Read More
The first day of the Strike WEF march on Davos on Jan. 18, 2020 near Davos, Switzerland. The activists want climate justice and think the WEF is for the world's richest and political elite only. Kristian Buus / In Pictures via Getty Images

By Ashutosh Pandey

Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg is returning to the Swiss ski resort of Davos for the 2020 World Economic Forum with a strong and clear message: put an end to the fossil fuel "madness."

Read More