Have you ever let a piece of fruit become moldy in your refrigerator because you forgot it was there? Maybe you’ve thrown out food in the pantry after its “best by” date? These are one of the many common scenarios that contribute to food waste in the United States. At every juncture in the supply chain, food is wasted and goes uneaten.
Food Waste: The Problem
It’s a mind-boggling dilemma; in a country where over 1 in 10 households is food insecure, the people in the United States throw away 30-40 percent of their food annually. This has real financial ramifications both individually and nationally. While farmers and supermarkets are partially responsible for the food waste dilemma, the majority of food waste occurs in the home. On average, that loss in food is over $1,000 per household in the United States.
Not only is food waste financially negligent, but it also has dire effects on our climate. In 2007, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization report noted that a significant amount of all carbon emissions were due to food waste alone. To make matters worse, food that is thrown away ends up in landfills, where they decompose and release methane gas into the atmosphere. Researchers note that if we could eliminate food waste to landfills, the carbon footprint reduction would be the equivalent of taking one-fifth of all cars in the United States off of the road. Food waste is a colossal man-made issue that has long-lasting effects on our natural, financial, and humanitarian resources.
So what can we do about it?
What Does Full Cart Have to Do with Food Waste?
A whole lot, actually! Full Cart is a unique food delivery service that helps limit food waste by assuring portion control and sending exactly the right amount of ingredients to ensure a waste-free meal. This grocery delivery service can greatly help in meal planning and stretching your budget, which can go a long way in effectively utilizing the food available so none of it goes to waste. Still don’t see the connection? Below are a few tips and tricks to reduce food waste- all of these can be done right in your own home, and Full Cart makes it even easier!
- Buy Only What You Need/Plan Your Meals. Plan out your meals so you can better know how everything will be used, which will also help your budget. When you throw food out, also make notes on what it is and why it wasn’t fully used so you can better prepare in the future. Full Cart is committed to sustainability and helps assure that no food is wasted by partnering with different companies to assure that food ends up in the grocery boxes and not in landfills.
- Get Creative. Even with the best intentions, food can go past its prime! Be mindful of leftover produce or other foods that need to be used up. Foods such as smoothies, casseroles, baked goods, a stir-fry, and sauces are great dishes to make with food that is past its prime. Not only is it fun to invent new dishes, but it also stretches your budget while saving the environment. Though Full Cart does give recipes and pre-proportioned meals, we constantly find and hear about new ways people are preparing their meals! We love hearing back from the people who use our services with new tips and tricks for a variety of meals. If you want to try out some delicious recipes that have been inspired by and collected from the community, Check it out here.
- Get Educated. Being educated on food insecurity and food waste makes a world of difference! Full Cart’s partners engage in fair trade, opened warehouses across the US to reduce carbon emissions from travel. We have also partnered with Micro Farming organizations to bolster local food production and urban farming. If you struggle with portion control and need a guestimate for a dinner party, we suggest utilizing this food calculator from the Natural Resources Defense Council. The team at Full Cart is committed to making cost-effective and sustainable decisions for the planet and your kitchen. We even use biodegradable bags in the grocery box to reduce the carbon footprint!
By getting creative and being mindful of what we buy and eat, it is possible to reduce food waste and wasteful carbon emissions. Full Cart is a great resource to start the journey by assisting with portion control, meal planning, and meal prep. By forging partnerships to assure overstock doesn’t end up in landfills and by fostering a community of consumers who are mindful of their meal portions, prep, and habits, we are committed to helping you reduce food waste and food insecurity in the United States.