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Households in U.S. waste food, should learn how to save it: Survey

The survey reveals 94 percent of Americans admitting to throwing food away at home. In fact, the average family wastes nearly a third of the food they buy, with the average American tossing 250 pounds of food each year.


Devdiscourse News Desk washington dc United States
Updated: 26-11-2018 15:48 IST
Households in U.S. waste food, should learn how to save it: Survey

The findings of a national survey by the American Dairy Association Mideast are surprising while seen with the fact that, as per United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, 815 million people of the 7.6 billion people in the world, or 10.7%, were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2016. There are 11 million people undernourished in developed countries.

The survey reveals 94 percent of Americans admitting to throwing food away at home. In fact, the average family wastes nearly a third of the food they buy, with the average American tossing 250 pounds of food each year.

"Imagine coming home with four bags of groceries and throwing one straight into the trash. That's really what is happening in most households," said Karen Bakies, RDN, LD, FAND, a registered dietitian and vice president of nutrition affairs for the American Dairy Association Mideast in Columbus, Ohio. "Whether people are over purchasing groceries or getting tired of their leftovers, too much food is being thrown away in America."

Top reasons, the survey reveals, for throwing away food at home is passing the expiry date of food while 60 percent have tossed food because of not considering it safe to eat. How to save the food wastage? A few simple changes can help. Bakies offers the following tips:

  1. Organize Your Fridge - Try to follow the "first in, first out" rule, by rotating older food to the front of your refrigerator so it's not forgotten. Where you store certain foods can also make a big difference in how long they stay fresh. Cheese and yogurt should be tightly sealed on the top shelf, while produce is best stored in humidity-controlled drawers. And even though your refrigerator door seems to be made to hold your gallon of milk, storing it there will cause it to get warm each time the door is opened. Instead, put milk in the back of the bottom shelf where it will stay cold.
  2. Get Creative - Find new ways to use those extra ingredients to create new family favorites. If you bought a pint of whipping cream and a recipe only called for a cup, the extra is great folded into scrambled eggs or mashed potatoes the next day. Think your produce looks like it's past its prime? It could still be added to soups, stir-fry or casseroles. You can also throw any extra fruit and yogurt you have into the blender for a healthy smoothie.
  3. Move Perishables to the Freezer - Whether there are leftovers from a prepared meal or you have some extra fruits and veggies, if you can't use it right away, freeze it. This can be especially helpful for dairy foods. Milk, cheese, and butter can be frozen for weeks and taken out of the freezer when you need them. You can also portion out tablespoons of herbs and sauces and freeze them in ice cube trays. Just pop one out to use in any recipe.

"A family of four could save up to $2,000 by wasting less food, but it's not just great for your family, it's also great for your community. Just half of that money is enough to provide over 8,000 meals to those in need," said Bakies. "And if you do find yourself with extra groceries, donate them to a local food pantry rather than letting them go to waste."

COUNTRY : United States

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