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Healing the Earth: Easy Solutions to Food Waste - Article by Hannah, Teen Blogger


“We can't just look at the world as a source of resources to exploit with little or no regard for the consequences.” - David Suzuki

It's amazing how much we waste food everyday without even knowing about it. 33 million tons of food makes its way into landfills each year and about 20% of Canada's methane emissions come from landfills (see http://www.endfoodwastenow.org/index.php/resources/facts and http://www.davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/food-and-our-planet/help-end-food-waste/). According to the Value Chain Management Center, we waste approximately $27-billion worth of food every year (see: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/the-hot-button/how-much-in-food-do-canadians-waste-a-year-think-billions/article4580509/). Keep in mind that this is the value of perfectly edible food that is simply just thrown out rather than the fungus-infected disgusting food that deserves to be thrown out. Most of you probably read that line and did not care because after all it's just a number with no significant meaning to you. But that's probably enough money to feed almost all of the people who die of hunger (according to http://www.poverty.com/, one person dies of hunger every 4 seconds).

As much as I want to rant about how evil society is for wasting all of this food, that's unfortunately not going to change much or be effective. So if you’re a person who cares about the well-being of this earth, below are so some super easy things you can do at home to prevent food waste:

Grocery Store Brown Bag Apples

  • Shop smart. Plan meals, use grocery lists, and avoid impulse buys.
  • Eat leftovers! Brown-bag them for work or school for a free packed lunch.
  • Buy funny-looking produce. Many fruits and vegetables are thrown away because their size, shape, or colors aren't perfect.
  • Donate what you won’t use. Never going to eat that can of beans? Donate it to a food bank before it expires.
  • Donate the gross stuff, too! Many farmers happily accept food scraps for feeding pigs or adding to a compost heap.
  • Home/community garden: Growing your food makes you be more aware of how much you really wasting.
  • Use old fruits & veggies: Rather than toss fruits and veggies that are soon to spoil, use them to create fruit salads, smoothies, and more.

Horse Eating Radishes Fruit Salad

You can find more easy solutions from these websites:

http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/shopping-storing/food-waste-in-america

http://www.conserve-energy-future.com/31-smart-and-easy-ways-to-reduce-food-waste.php.

http://greatist.com/health/how-to-ways-reduce-food-waste

http://mashable.com/2015/02/15/food-waste-tips/#E11bRDg28qqN

 

These solutions are really easy little things that you can do at home where in the long run it could make a big difference! If you are interested in more shocking facts about food waste or more innovative solutions, head on over to your nearest branch they have a lot of amazing books in their system, such as:

  • Leftover Food by Sally Morgan - this short illustrated book looks at how shops handle expired food, and what we as society can do to reduce, reuse and recycle to decrease the vastly growing problem of food waste.
  • Waste: uncovering the global food scandal by Tristram Stuart - the bibliography of the journey of tracing the global crisis of food waste, from the top to the bottom of the food production chain, containing fascinating date as well as innovative solutions . An easy, informative, and credible read about an important topic.

Hannah,

Teen Blogger

 

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