More than a third of the diet in the US corona virus pandemic. Tuesday marks the first year International Awareness Day on Food Loss and WasteCreated last year by the United Nations, experts encourage people to adopt new habits to combat the problem.– worth an estimated $ 161 billion annually – a problem that is only exacerbated by
Closure of farms and factories, labor shortages, closings of restaurants and hotels, social distancing and other security measures increased food production and distribution, creating a litanyat the start of the pandemic. But the effects are still being felt – one in three families with children today
Food waste not only contributes to the global hunger crisis, but also has a negative impact. Food that ends up in landfills does not decompose properly, and this waste is responsible for nearly 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the UN
“Prior to COVID, the USDA estimated that each year, an average of four American families lost $ 1,500 to uneaten food,” said Jean Buzby, USDA Food and Garbage Liaison, in a statement. news release Tuesday. “Time will tell whether new food habits will persist,”
To help solve this problem, the government, too, buy excess food and redistribute it to soup kitchens and other places where it is needed. In some areas, restaurants buy groceries in bulk, then sell them directly to customers.
But Americans can accept problems toointo their own hands. Here are some ways to combat the world’s problems.
- Plan your meal. Fewer trips to the grocery store during the coronavirus lockdown mean that Americans need to be more careful plan ahead. It is important to check what you already have in the house before you go shopping and stick to your plan to eliminate impulsive purchases that can lead to waste.
- Store food differently. Many Americans buy in bulk during this time to get rid of the excess of traveling outside the home. But buying in bulk can easily lead to waste if food is not stored properly in kitchens and refrigerators. It is very important to freeze perishable items to extend their life.
- Understand date labels. According to Food and Drug Administration, confusion around food labels contributes to about 20 percent of food waste in homes. Foods labeled “Best by” or “Best if used by” can be eaten well past the date, say the experts, as long as it looks and smells good.
- Donate. ReFed, a national non-profit organization working to reduce food waste, has developed a database for individuals to find non-profit and commercial organizations that will take unused food and distribute it to food banks, kitchens, food programs and more. Find your local food bank via Feed America to donate unused food. Enough Harvest, a national resource focused on eliminating food waste, can help backyard gardeners find local soup kitchens to carry their excess produce. Environmental Protection Agency has interactive map which finds potential industrial, commercial and institutional excess food recipients. Farmers can work together Farmlink project, founded this year by students, to donate surplus products to food banks.
- Learn to make compost at home. Many municipal composting services were suspended due to the pandemic. It’s easier than ever compost at home to ensure less food ends up in landfills.
- Get creative. With a little creativity, everything in your kitchen can have a purpose. That National Resources Defense Council has a kitchen handbook with special categories for leftovers, so you can make good use of potato skins and herb stalks.