Fredericksburg Parent

March 2018

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10 Fredericksburg Parent and Family • March 2018 As both a homemaker and a frugal-minded individual, one of my biggest passions and concerns is avoiding food waste. When I see a cucumber go rotten before I've had a chance to use it, I can get so upset not only because I've just wasted my money, but also because household food trash accounts for 43 percent of the nation's entire food-waste problem, which is an issue that has mounting global and environmen- tal ramifications. What incenses me more than dumping out spoiled milk from my own fridge is the fact that most folks do not think twice about the consequences of chucking their uneaten leftovers into the garbage or buying another pint of strawberries when they have one behind the eggs about to go bad. Besides wasting your money, wasting food does seri- ous damage to the environment, as food in landfills produces incredible amounts of methane, which is over 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide. In addition, when you waste food, you are also wasting the resources like energy and water that went into producing it in the first place, making the effect on the environment even more nonsensical. There are many ways to limit your household's food waste, but the most important way to approach this ongoing prob- lem is simply awareness. Being mindful of the choices you make with food every day, including what you are buying and how you inventory what's in that fridge, should become a lifestyle choice and a daily habit that can bring a lot of change. The process of limiting your family's food waste doesn't have to be taxing. Here are ten additional simple ways you can change your habits to lessen your contribution to the food-waste crisis. WRITTEN BY DEBRA CAFFREY 10 Easy Ways to Prevent Food Waste practical pantry Instead of throwing your produce in the trash where it will eventually pro- duce dangerous methane, composting allows it to break down and be recycled back into the earth. And the process couldn't be easier! Even though we do not waste much food in our house, it was still incredibly eye-opening to see just how many little scraps of produce we generate from cooking. Even if you do not want to compost, at the minimum, use your garbage disposal for vegetable and fruit scraps instead of the trash. It's not ideal, but it is better than food being sent to the landfill. 1. COMPOST 2. Buy UGLY Produce 3. USE smaller PLATES When we use big plates to serve ourselves and our family, we might be actually piling up more food than we can eat, creating more food waste. Use smaller plates and start off small with portions. Supermarkets are designed to rou- tinely chuck produce that looks ugly or imperfect into the garbage. It may seem like a small thing but being the customer that buys the weird-looking but perfectly edible potato or misshapen pear does make a difference and saves that piece of food from being wasted. water that went into producing it in the first place, making There are many ways to limit your household's food waste,

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