What can the average person do about food waste?

Make a Plan

Fresh Food In Garbage Can To Illustrate Waste

The average household wastes around 20−25 percent of the food it purchases. That’s completely separate from all the food that’s squandered in the supply chain; we’re talking about take-home food, the stuff we buy and don’t eat. That means an entire quarter of your grocery bill is literally going straight into the garbage—around $1,500 each year for the average household, according to the USDA.

Stop throwing your money away and start planning meals. Make a list before you go shopping, then stick to that plan throughout the week. Stretch your bounty by keeping vegetable scraps in a Ziploc in your freezer and making stock on the weekend. Then, turn that stock into soup for a week’s worth of lunches.

When you’ve used (and reused) all you can, try composting. Both Minneapolis and St. Paul are making efforts to reduce the amount of organic matter that reaches the landfill. Just keep in mind that while it’s great to keep a little bin for food scraps, the ultimate goal should be efficient purchasing from the start. You’re doing it right if you only have a little left over to compost.

Next page: Mind Your Meat

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John Garland About John Garland

John Garland is the Deputy Editor at the Growler Magazine. Find him on twitter (@johnpgarland) or in every coffee shop on West 7th Street.

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