Reducing Food Waste - May 5, 2014
By: Beth Ledvina, Sustainability Intern
Food quality, availability, and sustainability are serious issues in the world today and are increasingly salient as the population soars. There are nearly one billion malnourished people in the world and the 40 million tons of food wasted by just US households, retailers, and food services would be enough to feed every one of those people. In addition to food being scarce in some areas, food on average travels further than it has in the past to where it will be consumed. According to research done by the National Resources Defense Council, “The typical American-prepared meal contains, on average, ingredients from at least five countries outside the United States”. Click here to read a study that details food miles in the United States. Livestock production is responsible for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions from all human activities; that number is higher than transportation emissions at 14%.
What can we do? We can reduce food waste through composting and mindful buying, prioritize local food options, grow food in our own gardens and reduce our meat consumption. Eating locally grown food reduces the amount of miles your food travels while also reducing emissions and supporting the local economy. It may also taste better because it is harvested closer to consumption date. Local Harvest is a website that lists local farms and what products you can purchase from them. All you need to do is input your zip code or city name into the search bar on the top of the website. Click here to find local farms near you. You can also reduce your negative impact by not eating meat one day per week. Meat Free Mondays is an organization that offers useful information about having a meat free day of the week and information about why it matters. Making these changes in your life can reduce your negative impacts on the earth.
Getting to know more about food can make you more aware of what you’re eating and can lead to healthier and more environmentally conscious decisions. The Garden has several food-related classes coming up: Nettle Night May 12, Growing Blueberries in Containers May 13, Celebrating Spring Vegetables May 20 and several Garden to Table classes for children and families are approaching soon. Click here to view the listing of classes offered at the Garden.