Sunday, September 23, 2012

Another great story on WUNC today. They revealed that over 40% of the food purchased in the U.S. is thrown away. That is huge! Aside from waste this also causes problems that most of us would not consider.

Having operated restaurants for nearly thirty years I can assure you that my job was to sell as much food as I could. Whether it was consumed or not was not an issue. So long as the rea

son it wasn't eaten wasn't due to the guests not liking it, we were very happy to sell you as much as you were willing to buy.

Our trash cans would contain hundreds of pounds of uneaten food. Other leftovers were put into foam containers for the guests to carry home and put into their own trash can.

In our homes the story is the same if not worse. So much of our supermarket purchases are done without a plan. We fill our cupboards and refrigerators with stuff that sounded interesting only to discard it later.

What about when the date on the container expires. Many of us throw the product away, fearful that it will not be wholesome. The Public Radio International program told that these dates are listed with lots of wiggle room.

Another wasteful practice is buying so many pre-made products. Very often, all the ingredients to create things are already in our fridge or cabinet. Homemade sauces and dressings are easy, inexpensive and typically taste better. Preparing them yourself will also allow you to use up the ingredients before they go bad.

Having encountered financial struggles, I've learned that If I discipline myself I can prepare meals for my wife and me for about $7 a day. That's less than a morning Starbucks and danish. All it takes is a little creativity, a little planning and discipline.

Much of the wasted food ends up in landfills where it creates greenhouse gases. A better way to dispose of lost food is by composting.

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