Thanksgiving is here, and one thing it's known for is food.

And along with food, comes waste. All steps of food production, transportation and consumption cause waste, but this post will focus only on the steps that we are directly in touch with as consumers.

Food waste in grocery stores.

How it happens:

  • Overstocked product displays.

  • Our high expectations of magazine-photo-perfect fruits and vegetables.

  • Over-packaging.

  • Over-production of prepared foods.

  • Damaged goods.

  • Outdated seasonal items.

Food waste in restaurants.

How it happens:

  • Oversized portions.

  • Extensive menu options, which requires the restaurant to keep more ingredients in stock.

  • Overpreparation of food, especially in the case of all-you-can-eat buffets.

Food waste in households.

This is the one we can do the most about!

How much is wasted:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables: 22%

  • Dairy: 20%

  • Meat: 21%

  • Seafood: 31%

Food waste in households - food spoilage.

2/3 of waste comes from not consuming food before it goes bad. This happens due to improper storage, partially used ingredients, poor planning and date label confusion.

Food waste in households - over-preparing.

Cooking or serving more food than is needed for consumption is a large contributor to waste. It's aggravated by low consumption of leftovers, much of which ends up going bad.

Food waste in households - overbuying.

Sales and promotions that encourage purchases in bulk lead consumers to purchase more than they actually need. This contributes to all of the issues listed above, as well as all that happened earlier in the food supply chain (production and transportation).

Food waste in households - what to do.

- Planning: Plan your meals and shopping quantities according to the actual needs in your household. Keep an eye on expiry dates, and, if you have leftovers, make sure to incorporate them into your plan.

Food waste in households - what to do.

- Storage: Store food properly in order to keep it at peak quality for longer.

- Transportation: Shopping for groceries can generate a lot of plastic waste, so make sure to use durable reusable bags, preferably made from compostable natural materials.

 

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