Why Care about food waste?
1. It's Your Money!
The average American family of 4 throws away $2,200 worth of food every year!
Every day the U.S. creates enough food waste to fill the Rose Bowl Stadium at least once, and maybe twice, depending on the estimate.
If we reduced this food waste by just 16%, we could feed every hungry person in America.
The challenge with that is distribution, but innovative programs are tackling that too!
Find out more about that below!
2. Climate Change
It's real folks.
Methane is a problem. Why is this a big deal, you ask? We have all heard that carbon dioxide (CO2) is a greenhouse gas, but methane is too. Rotting food emits a lot of methane. Landfills are the second largest source of methane after - ahem - cow farts. Food waste makes up the largest part of those methane emissions.
THIS IS THE IMPORTANT PART! For the first 20 years that food is rotting, the methane is 72 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2! For the next 80 years, it's only about 21 times as strong, still significant. 19% of landfill waste is food scraps. This food waste is heavy (mostly made up of water) and is often shipped by trucks that get an average of 4-7 mpg! This represents more CO2 emissions and trashed tax dollars too.
That 19% doesn't even include food we put down the garbage disposal, which is estimated to be 3 times what we throw away.
PLUS: Every time food is thrown away, all the resources used to grow, package, distribute and store that food were wasted too. This includes water, fossil fuels, fertilizers, pesticides, packaging materials, electricity for refrigeration, and so much more.
Take beef as an example:
"Taking into account the water used to grow the grains to feed cattle, it takes 15 tons of water to produce 2.2 lbs of red meat." According to Jan Lindquist of the Stockholm International Water Institute. We can all do something to reduce this waste!
3. Taste it, Don't Waste It
Food scraps can become new food.
First of all, think before you throw!
What you think might be waste might be food. There are many creative ways to use the all the often castaway parts of fruits, vegetables, meats and bones that can make hearty, nutrient-rich and delicious meals!
Katrina's classes will teach you all about how to do this! Food scraps make great compost!
This compost can then be used on your own vegetable garden to enrich the soil and grow healthy food. It can also be given to area farmers for them to grow food for us. This is a great, free alternative to petroleum-based fertilizers, which also can have a negative environmental impact