Did you know that more than 40% of food in the United States goes to waste? That's more than 20 pounds of food wasted per person per month! If we could just salvage one quarter of what the world is wasting, it would be enough to feed the world's entire hungry population every year.
These numbers are shocking, but there is a silver lining— combatting food waste is receiving more national attention than ever before. Anthony Bourdain even has a documentary called "Wasted!" coming out this October to address it.
There's no need to wait for Bourdain's documentary to get started reducing your own food waste at home. Here are our quick tips and an easy infographic to save on Pinterest or place on your refrigerator at home.
1. Embrace Ugly Produce
Grower’s Organic is known by chefs and groceries across the state for having the best quality and freshest product. This is because we know how to store it properly and turn our inventory quickly. We focus on this because we hate to see anything wasted.
Sometimes, grocery stores aren't willing to sell produce that doesn't match a certain aesthetic— even if the taste isn't affected. In fact, six billion pounds of fruits and vegetables go unharvested or unsold each year because of this very reason. There's a concern that consumer's won't purchase ugly produce.
BUT, even if this happens, Grower's Organic makes use of it. When items arrive to us in less than perfect condition, or a farmer asks us to help after someone else in town refused a shipment, we get creative. We will put items on discount, sell to juicers or manufacturers, or put them in our GOBOX program. You can eat some of this delicious, 'ugly' produce every week by signing up for our "Pretty Ugly GOBOX." It's full of fruits and veggies that taste great but maybe wouldn't make the cut at the grocery store. And, as a bonus, we donate $1 of every box to the non-profit We Don't Waste.
2. Plan Ahead
You know what they say— if you fail to plan, plan to fail. Make sure each fruit and vegetable you purchase has a purpose, whether it's a planned recipe, snack or spot in your weekly meal plan. When in doubt, leave it out! You can always go back for more.
3. Get Creative
There's so much you can do with food scraps. From using brown bananas in banana bread to using the tops of veggies like carrots and celery in a soup stock, there are so many small changes you can implement to see big results. Stay tuned for a blog post with all of our favorite ways to use these scraps up soon.
4. Freeze It
Keep an eye on what's on its way out in the refrigerator before it turns. If you don't have time to use it, throw it in the freezer! That's a great way to preserve fruits and veggies without losing their core nutrients. Not to mention, you'll be happy later on when you're looking for a quick and easy meal to throw together.
5. Read Labels - Know the Signs
"Sell by" is not the same as "use by." Just because something is past the date that it should be sold to the consumer, doesn't mean it isn't safe to enjoy at home. And remember: don't shy away from brown spots on fruits like peaches or tomatoes! Those "scars" are an indication of higher sugar content and a more intense flavor, making them great for smoothies or a sweet snack.