How to Reduce Food Waste

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Save Money, Save the Planet

Food is wasted in many ways, such as buying too much, making too much, and letting fresh food go bad. By reducing food waste, we save money, reduce methane emissions coming from rotting food in landfills, and conserve resources that go into food production.

How You Can Reduce Food Waste

  1. Shop in your home before you head to the grocery store! Check inside your refrigerator and pantry and see if you can eat more of the food you already have.
  2. Research how to store different types of fruits and veggies so they stay fresher longer. For example, bananas and tomatoes emit natural gases that make nearby produce ripen faster. Store these items separately.
  3. Plan your weekly meals and make a list of exactly what you need at the store.
  4. Freeze extra food, such as bread, sliced fruit, or meats, to extend shelf life.
  5. Compost leftover fruit and vegetable waste.
  6. Donate extra canned goods to a food pantry or food drive.

Learn the Labels

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, different food product labels help shoppers determine quality.

Best if Used By/Before Date
This indicates when a product will be of best flavor or quality. It is not a purchase or safety date.
Sell-By Date
This date tells the store how long to display the product for sale.
“Use-By” Date
This is the last date recommended for the use of the product while at peak quality.
Sources: 

“Food Product Dating,” United States Department of Agriculture, www.fsis.usda.gov

“Reducing Wasted Food at Home,” US Environmental Protection Agency, www.epa.gov

“Tips to Reduce Food Waste,” US Food and Drug Administration, www.fda.gov, 11/28/16

Contributor: 

The Taste for Life Staff

The Taste for Life staff come from a wide variety of backgrounds and specialties. We believe learning is a life-long process, and love to share the knowledge we gain.