A minimalist tackles food waste

As a modern mom I’m deeply concerned about the world that we are leaving for our children. The easymodern family does its best to reduce, reuse, and recycle, but one area we rarely think about, and has become a hot topic, is food waste. And we’re not alone.  Americans typically think nothing of the food we put into the trash beyond wasted money. But all that waste we are putting into the trash has a much larger impact than your budget. Here’s some food for thought: 

  • 25% of the fresh water supply in the US goes toward food production 
  • Americans waste 38 million tons of food per year, with a cost of about $218 billion dollars 
  • That’s enough waste to feed 190 million people for a year 

And it doesn’t just cost us dollars… 

  • Organic food waste in our landfills puts out approximately 4.4 gigatons of carbon dioxide per year 

That’s terrible! What can I do? 

  • Join a food program that redistributes food to local food banks. The food rescue locator on the Sustainable America website is a good place to start. 
  • Buy produce from a company like Imperfect Foods that sells produce that’s slightly imperfect but just as tasty. 
  • Work on your own food waste by joining or creating your own food waste challenge 

Join a food waste challenge. Sounds like a good way to start seeing- what our food waste actually looks like. So, here’s the easymodern moms’ food waste challenge. Reduce food waste by logging waste from the refrigerator each Friday, hmm… it needs a catchy name. Let’s call it Fridge Fridays, and develop ways to reduce our family’s food waste by 5%. Track your progress over a 30-day period. That doesn’t seem that difficult. As I think about how to tackle this challenge one of my first instincts is to apply minimalistic principals to food, helping to reduce overall waste. Can I take a less is more approach? Think more white space, less visual noise, increase visual appeal by having less objects. The minimalists guide to food waste. 

Here’s the current state of affairs. 

Clutter inside and out. Not a lot of white space here. 

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Oddly enough there wasn’t a lot to get rid of. Half-consumed milk. Pancakes from Sunday. Chicken, salad dressing, tomato sauce and half an onion. 

After a quick wipe down here’s the end result. Not minimal, but better than before. Now at least we have a clear starting point. I can see what I have a lot of, so I can start to plan meals around those ingredients. 

So, week one food waste total is 3 lbs. Better luck next week. 

 

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