Food Waste 101
End to Food Waste?!
We are getting closer to the end of food waste! Many countries have the objective to divert material, like food waste, from going to the landfill. Vermont just banned food waste in the trash. Vermont is the first state in the USA to take a step when it comes to handling things in an environmentally responsible way. Even if their new compost law isn’t 100% perfect at its start, Vermont can be a model for other states looking to address their food waste. But first, let’s look into the food waste stats.
Did You Know?
– Over 1/3 of all food produced globally goes to waste.
– The annual value of food wasted globally is $1 trillion and it weights 1.3 billion tonnes.
– An area larger than China is used to grow food that is never eaten.
– 25% of the world’s fresh water supply is used to grow food that is never eaten.
– If food waste was a country, it would be the 3rd largest greenhouse gas emitter.
– In most developed countries, over half of all food waste takes place in the home.
– 2.3 billion people are joining the planet by 2050- this will require a 60-70% increase in global food production. Or we can just stop throwing away food!
The Good News- Change is Near!
Vermonters are paving the way for composting! Residents can no longer simply toss their food into trash cans. Under a new law that went into effect at the start of the July, residents are required to compost any unfinished food—including inedible scraps like peels, egg shells, and pits—in their yard or through a professional compost facility. Other states have taken steps to curb food waste, like New York City’s compost program, particularly at the business level. But Vermont is the first to implement a statewide ban on food waste that also affects individuals! The goal is to divert 50% of all waste from landfills to facilities where it can be composted, recycled, or reused.
What Can You Do if You Don’t Live in Vermont?
– Download the app “Share Waste” and donate your food scraps!
– Store food correctly so it lasts longer, and keep the fridge clutter-free!
– Find out what fruits and veggies you can eat the skin of! Many fruits and veggies contain nutrients located in their outer layers.
– Eat the seeds! Pumpkin, acorn, and butternut squash seeds are just a few that are edible and delicious.
– Make homemade vegetable stock using veggie scraps. Freeze soggy fruit and use for future smoothies!
– Understand expiration dates. Most of the time food says it is expired, it really isn’t! The food expiration labeling system is inaccurate due to the FDA, and the food typically lasts way longer than the date written.
-Homemade compost! You can create a compost in your backyard, or even make an indoor compost.