Waste Not, Want Not
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Waste Not, Want Not

It was called a Plate Waste Study in school. We had to stand at the garbage cans at our cafeteria and literally count the % of the items of food on each plate that had been consumed. It was done mostly as a food costing experiment-in other words, how much money turned into garbage after each meal.

Today, the plate waste study is being done virtually everywhere food is served today. Only now, it’s become a necessity in the ongoing effort to be frugal with our food dollars. The www.wastedfood.com website states that “Americans waste more than 40 percent of the food we produce for consumption. That comes at an annual cost of more than $100 billion.” We know that our food costs are on the rise with no end in the near future. More people today are frugal at the store–cutting coupons, cooking at home and looking for deals. One deal we need to look at more closely is the one that could be in our trash can.

Jonathan Bloom, creator and chief waste official of www.wastedfood.com created the site in response to his journalistic research on the topic. This site is a mecca for those of you who want refuse to acknowledge how much A. you throw away on a daily basis and B. others throw away on a daily basis. I will warn you, some of the pictures are enough to make your stomach turn–both of of disgust at the actual foodstuffs in the photos and the sheer amount of food that is wasted on a daily basis.

Bloom also offers an enlightening blog as well as ways to stop the waste. Trayless cafeterias lead the way in schools and universities and tips from regular ole consumers have their own tab on the site. Suggestions from passionate non-wasters include saving food bits and collecting them in the fridge/freezer for future dishes (i.e. leftover veggies turned into soups), collecting the last drops of wine in the wine bottle for future dishes, rehydrating “wobbly” vegetables, braising tired lettuce, etc.

This site forced me to take a look at what food I personally wasted yesterday. Luckily, it was a non-wasted food day. However, it forced me to take a serious look at how I treat food after consumption. It’s was an eye opening experience-considering how many people in the US go without food on a daily basis and how much my food dollar is forced to be stretched these days. Take some time on this site. The wake up call potential is enormous.


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