How Guilty Are You of Food Waste?
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Food waste – not an exciting topic I know, but still it is a very important one that applies to many of us. The food waste statistics that this infographic points out, while not terribly surprising, were eye-opening on one level. I think part of that goes back to the infographic putting some quantifiable numbers to the issue of wasting food in our society. Here were some of the numbers that stood out to me the most:
- 1.3 billion tons of edible food is lost each year
- 254 pounds per person, per year are wasted
- 24 million acres are deforested each year to grow food
- 300 million barrels of oil are used to prepare food that is tossed each year
Those are some pretty crazy numbers aren’t they? I know it’s easy to think that when we toss those “bad” veggies or not eat our leftovers that it really does not amount to much. The truth is though when everyone is wasteful, the amount of food being thrown away adds up quickly.
What Can You do About Food Waste?
What I probably like most about this infographic is that it gives actionable tips that can be implemented right away as opposed to just bemoaning the issue. I could pat myself on the back because we follow a few of their tips. We’ve streamlined our purchases at the grocery store so we can not only minimize waste but also be frugal at the same time. We love to go shopping at Costco but we typically regulate ourselves so as to not buy crazy sizes that end up only being half eaten. I mean, do we really need that five gallon drum of pickles…I don’t think so! However, I know there are other ways we can improve our habits to mitigate the food waste we do have. We’ve allowed our busyness to take us away from our usual meal planning habits. Planning meals is not always the most fun, but I’ve found that when we get away from it we end up not eating as healthy, buying stuff we shouldn’t and wasting food altogether. I am also terribly picky about the fruit I eat. If a banana has the slightest mark on it then I immediately pass, when many times it’s just fine. Taken together those habits, when left unchecked, lead to food waste as well as wasting money as opposed to being wise with our grocery budget. I challenge you, my readers, to take a look at your shopping and eating habits to see where you might be guilty of food waste in your home. I would hazard a guess that those of us in the States and other industrialized areas of the world are more guilty of this than other areas of the world.
What stood out to you in this infographic? Are you guilty of food waste like I am and how can you improve on that?
John is the founder of Frugal Rules, a dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry whose writing has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, Yahoo Finance and more.
Passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes, John shares financial tools and tips to help you enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital , which he used to plan for retirement and keep track of his finances in less than 15 minutes each month.
Another one of John's passions is helping people save $80 per month by axing their expensive cable subscriptions and replacing them with more affordable ones, like Hulu with Live TV.