New Data Shows 31 Percent of Food Goes To Waste

By: Garrett Wymer Email
By: Garrett Wymer Email

Six Tips From Chef Mike Lund to Help Reduce Your Waste

  1. Plan meals ahead. It makes shopping more effective and more efficient.
  2. Be resourceful with leftovers. You can even use what's for dinner tonight for something different tomorrow.
  3. Use methods to preserve your food: freezing, pickling, canning, etc.
  4. Use your vegetable trimmings, chicken carcasses, beef bones and pork bones to make stock to use in soups and sauces.
  5. Buy less, more often. Avoiding "stockpiling" helps cut down on what will end up wasted.
  6. Compost vegetable trimmings and the like so you can still get nutrients from them to put back in your garden through the soil.

STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) -- Billions of pounds of food each year winds up in the dumpster instead of our stomachs.

According to new numbers from the USDA, 31 percent of the available food supply in 2010 went uneaten.

That averages out to more than 1,200 calories per person every day.

"I think it's disturbing when you learn that billions of pounds of food are being thrown away," said Ruth Jones, the director of communications at the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank.

But there is good news in all of this as there are some simple steps you can take in your kitchen to make sure less of your food winds up in the dumpster.

"In the restaurant industry, waste is your number one enemy," said Mike Lund, a chef and caterer.

He said cutting back your waste is something anyone can do.

You can start with planning meals ahead and buying less, more often.

"If you go and get smaller amounts every few days for the stuff you need, if you're buying more for your specific menus that you've come up with and your different recipes, as opposed to just stockpiling, then it helps you curtail your waste," said Lund.

More good news, what could have been part of the problem actually ends up in peoples' pantries.

70 percent of what the food bank gives out comes from what manufacturers and grocery stores cannot sell.

"A lot of that food that they were going to throw away is actually reaching the tables of people who need it," said Jones. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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