Eliminating Food Waste Part IIAbout 40 percent of the United States food supply (1,500 calories/ person/day) goes uneaten. Discarded food in homes and foodservice accounts for 60 percent of this total food loss and is mostly avoidable. The remaining portion is lost or wasted during food production.
Here are some additional tips for eliminating food waste.Check product dates on foods. The United States Department of Agriculture/Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA/FSIS) defines them as:
· A "Sell-By" date tells the store how long to display the product for sale. You should buy the product before the date expires.>
· A "Best if Used By (or Before)" date is recommended for best flavor or quality. It is not a purchase or safety date.
· A "Use-By" date is the last date recommended for the use of the product while at peak quality. The date has been determined by the manufacturer of the product. Do not buy or use baby formula after its "use-by" date.Look for recipes on websites that can be searched for by ingredients to use up food at home. USDA's "What's Cooking: USDA Mixing Bowl" website (www.whatscooking.fns.usda.gov) offers several tools for searching for recipes with specific ingredients, nutrition themes and meal course. To find more recipe websites, try using such search words as: "recipe websites that use ingredients you have at home (include these words in quotation marks).
Buy misshapen fruits and vegetables at farmers' markets and elsewhere. They taste just as good and are just as nutritious as those with a "perfect" shape but are more likely to get thrown away.Rather than buy a food for use in only one recipe, check if there might be a suitable substitute already in the home. The Cook's Thesaurus website (http://foodsubs.com) gives thousands of ingredient substitutions.
Check the garbage can. If the same foods are constantly being tossed: Eat them sooner, buy less of them, incorporate them into more recipes or freeze them.Donate safe, nutritious food to food banks, food pantries and food rescue programs.
If you have several foods that might go to waste at the same time, try adding them to such adaptable recipes as salads, soups, pasta and casseroles.Source: Source: Adapted from Alice Henneman, MS, RDN, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension, Food Reflections Newsletter. University of Nebraska Extension, Lancaster County