America Recycles Day November 15th!
America Recycles Day gives us an opportunity to talk about reducing, reusing, and recycling to keep America beautiful! We can “recycle” our food waste too by keeping it from becoming trash at the landfill or dump! A Washington Post article talks about how: Americans throw out more food than plastic, paper, metal, and glass. Our food waste is our biggest “waste” problem.
Food Waste and Hunger in America:
- According to figures provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Economic Forum, roughly 70 billion pounds of food is lost in the United States each year.
- It is estimated that 25 – 40% of food grown, processed and transported in the US will never be consumed.
- 1 in 6 people in America faces hunger, that’s nearly 49 million people that need the food we haven’t used
Feed People, Not Landfills
As the poster below shows, there are several ways we can stop food waste but one item not on the list is “recycling” our leftover food that would go into the trash by composting it instead. For Master Gardeners, this is a natural and we have lots of places to put that black-gold compost to replenish the soil but, if you haven’t tried composting before, you might want to learn a little more about how to do it by visiting the EPA’s site on composting at home.
Cutting food waste is a win, win, win! We can save money on the food we don’t waste. We could save enough food to potentially feed 25 million hungry Americans. We can also save the water & energy used to grow the food we waste. So this Thanksgiving, let’s save money, food, and resources and share our plenty with others!
Submitted by Connie Schultz, Master Gardener/Composter (’95 Cornell Extension) now volunteering in Johnston County, NC