This past weekend, I had a new house mate move in. My current house mate and I had to clear out some space for our newcomer in the kitchen cabinets and refrigerator. The end result was a couple of large trash bags full of expired food that we’d been holding onto, unaware its shelf life had passed. Ever since I moved to New York, I have been grocery shopping for one - prior to that, I lived at home with my parents, and it seemed that groceries would magically appear in the refrigerator.
I don’t buy much at a time, since whatever I buy has to be schlepped home on foot. This reduces the amount of food that ends up in the trash; that has gone bad before I can eat it. We live in a society where a full refrigerator is the norm but here’s a tip - let your fridge and cabinets go empty every once in a while. If you find yourself throwing out fresh produce regularly, buy less, and make do with what you have. Finish everything in your fridge before you buy more. I like to make stew and soup out of any assortment of veggies that look a little sad - too old to taste good fresh, but not bad enough to throw away. This not only reduces food waste, but saves you money.
Americans waste over 150,000 tons of food per day. I believe we can do better than this. Relative to our income, food is cheap for Americans. If food were more expensive, we would be more mindful about what and how we consume it. The Atlantic wrote a fantastic piece on why Americans lead the world in food waste - according the article, because “calories are cheap and people are picky”.
If you have ideas on reducing food waste, please comment below or email me - I would love to read them.