What is Food Waste?

Food waste (also known as food loss) is classified as food “that is discarded or unable to be used”. The United States Environmental Protection Agency defines food waste as “uneaten food and food preparation wastes from residences and commercial establishments”.

In the United States alone in 2011,  at least 36 million tons of food waste was generated!  1.3 billion tons of food throughout the world is lost or wasted, yearly. 1.3 billion is about 1/3 of the total food produced in the world! Be it from the food either used or going bad, to the misleading “Best By” or “Expire By” labels, to the misconceptions and disgust of purchasing aesthetically imperfect produced or groceries,  to even the lack of knowledge for further uses of byproducts, Americans – nay, all of us as citizens of this world– waste a lot of food.

However, to take one step towards minimizing the most basic food waste issue (discarding food) we here at Kitchology.com hope to change your kitchen and better improve your eating habits with innovative ideas so that you can make the most of your delicious food purchases.

Last month, as part of our commitment to promoting food waste and reduce the indiscriminate discarding of food, Kitchology gladly accepted the USDA Food Waste Challenge (blog link). The USDA Food Waste Challenge (link here) is built upon the EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge to raise awareness amongst Americans to reduce food waste. As such, over the next week (or two), we will talk more about the food waste issue in the United States and how you can not only minimize your food excess and food waste, but also maximize your food purchases and consumption with becoming bored.

Additionally, as you’ve probably seen, every Friday, we are promoting the theme of “Food Friday” geared towards you for something to eat or to try for the weekend. Last Friday (July 5th), we began addressing the food waste issue by providing you with delicious solutions for your delightful 4th of July leftovers (blog link). Leftovers are a huge part of food waste; sometimes the food spoils, sometimes we no longer want to eat them because we’ve eaten the same thing one too many times, and other times they’re simply forgotten about. We’d like to put a spin to the food you eat, how you handle the food, and what to do with it. Stay tuned!

References & Other “Food Waste” Resources:

Disclaimer: I wrote this post for Kitchology’s blog (Jul 08, 2013). Kitchology is a startup seeking to “create menus based on your family’s preferences and restrictions” with a specialized focus on individuals with dietary restrictions (ie: allergens, intolerances, etc.) You can visit our BLOG (link) or our WEBSITE (link)…although both are still under construction. Please leave us any feedback of interest.


About floatingsheep
Recently moved to Blacksburg, Virginia (Virginia Tech) for graduate school from good ol' sunny California. Wanting to share my (mis)adventures around the East Coast and in general. :D

2 Responses to What is Food Waste?

  1. misselletea says:

    I hate food waste, yet unfortunately I always seem to throw stuff out that goes off. If I make too much dinner, I eat the leftovers for lunch the next day, and I guess this snowballs a bit so I’m not using up all of the food I bought in the first place! I’m trying to deal with this, and I’m definitely getting better.

    • Ahh! I know exactly what you’re talking about.
      Have you thought about freezing some of the food you made? Definitely no one wants to eat the same old leftovers 4 days in a row (a friend and I were discussing this yesterday for one of the reasons she got a Meal Plan as a grad student as opposed to cooking). For myself, I know that I will be craving curry or stew every few weeks (or months). When that particular produce is in season, I’ll buy a lot of it and make a stockpot (or two) full of that particular type of craving – usually the day I’m craving – and then box the rest up to be stored in the freezer.
      On the other hand, there is the pesky problem with fruits and regular produce that also goes to waste. One way I solved that – a few years back, but haven’t really done much of as of late – is to make a “list” of all the things for the week. That takes a bit of time, though. Hmmm~
      Thoughts? Suggestions? Ideas?

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