One of the largest problems facing hunger issues in America isn’t that we don’t necessarily have enough food for everyone, it’s that distributing it becomes difficult—especially when so much of our food ends up in the trash. It never feels good knowing that you’re throwing out perfectly good food that other, less fortunate people, would love to have. Reducing your personal food waste is a simple, easy step to take in making food more available to those who really need it.
Watch How You Purchase
When doing your grocery shopping, take note of how much you buy. If you’re not realistically going to eat everything in your cart, put a few things back on the shelves. It’s better to have to take an extra trip to the store than it is to waste both your food and money by buying things that will inevitably end up going bad. If possible, locally sourced produce and local farmer’s markets are great purchasing options for your groceries. These will often give you healthy, long-lasting options that haven’t been shipped from some distant farm, increasing the shelf life of whatever fresh foods you buy.
Think About Serving Food
When you cook a fresh meal, avoid over serving your guests or even yourself. Learning to recognize how much food is appropriate for what your appetite is can be a bit of a skill, especially if you don’t cook often, but do your best to try to make only the right amount of food for yourself, friends, or family members. If you do end up making too much food, there’s nothing wrong with leftovers. However, a word of caution with leftovers is to make sure they actually get eaten, as uneaten leftovers are a huge source of food waste.
Looking to the Future
When you inevitably do end up throwing some food away, keep track of what you tossed and why you did so. Perhaps you bought something you had never tried but realized you didn’t like, which is an easy fix as you can just avoid purchasing that item in the future. Other instances may be a bit more nuanced. If you’re throwing out milk before you get around to finishing it, you may need to downsize the portions you’re purchasing. To make this easier to visualize, try adding dollar values to everything you throw out: once you realize the price tag attached to your wasteful habits.
Talk to My Brother’s Keeper About Volunteering in Baltimore
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