Tuesday, April 16, 2013

How to Avoid Wasting Food (we do way too much of it)

The statistics are alarming -- Americans overall waste up to 40 percent of the food we buy.  Either it's scraped off our plates in restaurants because they've given us more than we can (or should) eat, or we let it go bad in our refrigerators -- among other scenarios that add up to a great deal of waste.
A blog link posted on Whole Foods' website addresses strategies for being more careful about how we buy, store, and consume food. "12 Ways to Stop Wasting Food" suggests such things as better organization of our fridges and pantries, buying small amounts of ingredients from a supermarket salad bar, expanded use of our freezers and judicious use of leftovers. Not mentioned in this article is how to avoid waste in restaurants, but the same principles apply: don't order more than you can eat or take home with you in a "doggie bag."
When you're having dinner before a show, let's say, or on the road and your hotel room doesn't have a way to preserve your leftovers, try this: my husband and I ask for not only the doggie bag but also for a plastic fork and a napkin, and then we look for someone on the street who is down on his luck and might appreciate the food. It's not always easy to make that connection with someone, but we have been fairly lucky in finding a grateful person to take the food that otherwise would have gone in a trash can. (This works best in larger cities, of course....and, sadly.)

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