About 30% to 40% of the food supply in the US gets wasted, according to the US Department of Agriculture. As the largest contributor to city landfills, food waste causes significant harm to the environment. It’s also a missed opportunity to help families in need, while costing everybody money. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an international nonprofit environmental organization, the problem costs the average family of 4 at least $1,500 per year.
The NRDC studied the food wasted at homes in Denver, Nashville, and New York City, and found more than ⅔ of food thrown away could have been eaten, and as many as 68 million meals a year could have been donated to people in need.
Eating a lot of fruits and vegetables can help reduce your cancer risk, but it takes organization to keep them fresh. According to the reports released by NRDC, the most common reason for throwing out food was that it was moldy or spoiled. Cut down on food waste through the planning, preparing, and storing of food. Follow these tips from the US Environmental Protection Agency:
Plan out the meals you will be eating at home for the next week. Make a shopping list of ingredients you will need to prepare them.
Buy only as much produce as you’ll need for the week and store it properly to keep it as fresh as possible. If you tend to forget about your fruits and vegetables until it’s too late, try making a list on a post-it note and sticking it on the refrigerator.
Get perishable foods ready for snacking and cooking soon after you get home from shopping.
When you waste less food, you save more money. Find creative ways to use old ingredients and leftovers.
The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team
Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.
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