The Palisadian-Post has teamed up with locally founded environmental organization Resilient Palisades—a nonprofit “committed to local, national and global action to address the climate and ecological crisis”—to deliver a weekly “green tip” to our readers.
Food waste contributes significantly to the climate crisis and exhausts vast amounts of water, energy and land required to produce the food. According to the World Resources Institute, “if food loss and waste were its own country, it would be the world’s third-largest emitter—surpassed only by China and the United States.”
With America’s most food-focused holiday coming up next week, here are a few easy tips all of us can follow to reduce food waste and the associated climate impact:
Try to avoid grocery shopping when you’re hungry; you may find yourself purchasing food you won’t use.
When planning for your Thanksgiving meal, be sure to purchase for the right head count. The biggest meal of the year inevitably yields the most food waste of the year.
Freeze foods that won’t be eaten immediately. The nutrient content of produce does not decrease after freezing.
Imperfect produce is still good and nutritious to consume. Fruits and veggies with flaws and blemishes still taste the same and typically cost less.
Don’t over-purchase bulk foods. Many consumers buy in bulk to save money, but don’t end up consuming all of it, wasting both food and money.
Understand date labels. “Sell by” dates don’t indicate expiration, but suggest when a store should sell an item to prevent it from being on the shelf for too long. Non-perishable/dry foods can still be good for a while after their “best by” dates if they have been stored and handled properly. “Use by” dates should be taken with more consideration, as this typically applies to perishable foods. Stores should not sell perishable items past “use by” dates.
For more information about Resilient Palisades and the programming it offers, visit resilientpalisades.org.
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