Food Waste Facts

With a third of America’s food waste ending up in landfills, we lead the world. It’s the #1 thing we trash, making up 24.1% of all municipal solid waste. We know how it happens. Spring mix optimistically purchased, cucumbers buried in the crisper, forgotten leftovers—and then we clear out before vacation.

The most shocking fact is that rotting food in landfills creates more than TWICE the greenhouse gas emissions from commercial air travel. This jaw-dropping statistic is why some experts have suggested food waste reduction could be one of the most effective ways to mitigate climate change.

We’ve talked about food waste before, but what exactly are we tossing? After “inedible parts,” prepared foods and leftovers are the second most dumped items, costing the planet… and us! The average American family of four tosses $1500 of food each year.

In this week’s podcast episode we talk with green guru and Queen of Leftovers, Jacquie Ottman, about the “Seven Dishes” used around the world to use-up leftovers: fried rice, soups & stews, savory pies & tarts, curries, grain bowls, egg dishes (like frittata), and fish cakes. We also discuss her “Seven Wishes” on a policy level that will help educate Americans and change their behavior. Research shows that once we know better, we do better

My conversation with Jacquie inspired me to create Leftovers Night in our home. Each week, I pull all the containers from the fridge and either reheat them or transform them into something new. This week (and beyond) don’t let those containers get lost in the fridge. Put them to good use. For you, and the Earth.

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