Here’s to 500,000 more!
We did it! Thanks to the amazing efforts of our Food Rescue Heroes we have saved half a million pounds of food since the fall! Not only does the work of our Food Rescue Heroes provide meals for the food insecure but the food that we have rescued has prevented around 271,500 pounds of CO2 from entering the atmosphere.
Sustainability in our own lives
There is a lot of food wasted in this country. In fact, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) around 40% of the food that is produced ends up in the garbage. That’s around 62 million tons of food that ends up in landfills. All of this wasted food accounts for 16% of the entire world’s methane emissions. Most people don’t realize how much food they are throwing away. Research by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has found that on average Americans throw away 400 pounds of food a year. Though Last Mile focuses on food waste within businesses, reducing your own food waste at home is just as important! If you are interested in reducing your personal food waste, see the tips below to learn about different ways to decrease your food waste at home.
Tips on reducing your personal food waste
1.) Use all the food at home (Leftover Surprise)
Often enough there is food in the fridge or pantry to make a delicious meal or side dish. Maybe it is some frozen greens that you found and can sauté or maybe it is creating a completely new dish from the hodgepodge of food you find. It can be a fun and creative way to expand and hone your cooking skills.
Pro tip: Leftovers can be a great starting point to work from for creating new meals.
2.) Become a black belt in freezer Tetris
Knowing how to stack food most efficiently can leave more room in your freezer for the produce that is on its way out. Your freezer is like a real-life pause button. For example, do you have some Bananas going bad? Peel them and throw them in the freezer to save for a smoothie. What about some leafy greens not looking so hot? You can chop them up and throw them in the freezer to save for stir fry dinner.
Pro tip: Use air-tight containers to prevent freezer burn
3.) Mindful Shopping
Introducing mindfulness into your shopping is a great way to start reducing the amount of food waste you produce. Saving food at home all starts with mindful shopping. The fundamentals of mindful shopping are to properly plan what meals you want to eat during the week and stick to your game plan. The best way to start is to think about all the variables such as, how many people you are feeding, what meals do you want to eat, and what kind of leftovers sound good. Next, check the kitchen to see if you already have some of the ingredients for the meals you want to make. Figure out how much you need to buy. Finally, the most important step is to have restraint while shopping. Stick to the list you make.
Pro tip: If you shop at wholesale food places such as Costco or Sam’s club, ask yourself if you will eat all of the food in the bulk buy boxes before they go bad.
4.) Why waste the peels?
Some foods you can’t do much with the peels. Bananas and oranges, those peels are only good for composting (read more about starting to compost here!) but, what about potatoes and carrots? You can save the potato peels to create potato skin chips or save them and combine them with your carrot peelings and a few other veggie cutoffs and make yourself a veggie stock.
Did we miss something? Tell us how YOU reduce food waste at home!
*Due to food safety requirements, Last Mile only rescues from commercial kitchens, grocery stores, and distributors, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do your part to end food waste at home. If you’re interested in rescuing food with Last Mile, check out our volunteer page to learn more and download the app to get started!
Gunders, Dana, et al. “Wasted: How America Is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill.” NRDC, 25 June 2020, www.nrdc.org/resources/wasted-how-america-losing-40-percent-its-food-farm-fork-landfil