Earth Day gives us all an opportunity to reflect upon our habits and make an effort to do more for our planet. There are many simple ways that we can all reduce our impact on a regular basis, especially when it comes to our food habits!
Food waste is a HUGE problem in the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Loss Project, we throw away more than 25 percent of all the food we produce for domestic sale and consumption.
There is a significant amount of food waste in the food service industry (supermarkets, restaurants, etc.), but we as consumers also waste a lot of food without realizing it. Throwing out leftovers, trashing food scraps, and letting food spoil can really add up over time.
Here are some things you can do at home to minimize the amount of food you waste.
1. Feed your friends! If you have extra food that you won’t be able to eat, invite friends over for a potluck or bring some to your neighbors!
2. Donate to the hungry! There are too many hungry people in our communities. You can make a difference by donating excess food to food banks, soup kitchens and shelters!
3. Compost your food scraps! There are tons of online resources to help get you started. Keep a compost container with a lid in your kitchen, and it will be easier than ever to keep food out of the trash. (In addition to your veggie scraps, did you know you can compost coffee grounds, egg shells, and hair?)
4. Cook it, then freeze it! This one sounds more complicated than it is. Next time you cook a large batch of food, put the leftovers in a bag in the freezer. You’ll enjoy the fruits of your labor for a long time to come!
5. Reorganize your fridge. Keep what you have in sight, so when you open your fridge you’ll know what needs to be eaten! If you keep leftovers towards the front of the fridge in clear containers, you’re much more likely to remember to eat them.
6. Donate food scraps to your local farmer. Lots of farmers take food scrap donations so they can feed it to their animals or turn it into fertilizer. It’s a great way to bring your consumption habits full-circle!
How do we reduce food waste here at Boston Organics?
Composting and food donations play a significant role in keeping food waste out of our operations!
Food For Free
Every Monday, an amazing Cambridge-based organization called Food for Free comes by our warehouse to pick up our leftover produce from the previous week. Food For Free rescues fresh food that might otherwise go to waste and distributes it to the community’s most vulnerable populations through meal programs, food pantries, emergency shelters, hospitals and clinics, and youth programs in Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston.
In 2011, we donated 26,235 pounds of produce to Food For Free! We are so thankful for the hard work that they do to help provide access to healthy food for the people who need it most.
Save That Stuff
We work with Save that Stuff to recycle our recyclables and to compost whatever we can. In 2011, we composted 32,270 pounds of produce through Save That Stuff. The compost that is picked up from Boston Organics eventually makes its way to Rocky Hill Farm in Saugus, Massachusetts.
What do you do to reduce your food waste at home? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and you’ll find a surprise in your box!