Food expiration dates don’t mean what you think - Carolyn Beans
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Food waste is a major issue that significantly impacts climate change. When food is wasted, it not only wastes the resources and energy that went into producing, transporting, and storing it but also releases harmful greenhouse gases such as methane into the atmosphere. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, one-third of all food produced globally is wasted each year, which is equivalent to 1.3 billion tons of food. This wasted food generates approximately 3.3 billion tons of greenhouse gases, a major contributor to climate change. Reducing food waste can play a crucial role in mitigating the effects of climate change. It is important for individuals, businesses, and governments to take action to reduce food waste and its impact on the environment.
What You Can Do
Reducing food waste can be done at different levels, from the household to the global level. Here are some of the best ways to reduce food waste:
Plan your meals and shop wisely: Planning your meals in advance can help you buy only what you need and avoid overbuying. Shopping with a list and sticking to it can also help reduce food waste.
Store food properly: Proper storage of food can help extend its shelf life and reduce spoilage. Use airtight containers, store food at the right temperature, and keep fruits and vegetables in the fridge.
Use leftovers: Leftovers can be repurposed and used in other meals. You can use them to make soups, stews, sandwiches, or salads.
Compost: Composting is a great way to reduce food waste and create nutrient-rich soil for gardening. You can compost food scraps and yard waste to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfills.
Donate excess food: If you have excess food, consider donating it to a food bank or a charity organization that helps feed those in need.
Support local farmers: Buying local food helps reduce food waste by reducing the distance food has to travel and supporting local farmers who might otherwise have to throw away unsold produce.
Educate others: Spread awareness about the impact of food waste and encourage others to reduce waste by sharing tips and strategies.
Advocate for laws and policies: At a systemic level, we need laws that will discourage food waste at all supply chain points. We need laws that clarify and give better guidance for expiration labels. Another part of the equation is laws that encourage or mandate grocers to donate unused food.
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