Gain Greeness the Easy Way

October 4th, 2010

If you stop wasting food, you can be a green god. (And save money.) That’s what scientists* are suggesting.

The facts on how food waste affects oil use:

The United States wasted the equivalent of around 350 million barrels of oil (2030 trillion BTU of energy) in 2007 — all cause we poured unused food down the drain, threw it in the trash or added it to the compost heap.

It requires 1.4 billion barrels of oil to prepare and distribute a year’s supply of food in the US!

In 2007, between 8 to 16% of energy use in the US went toward production of food.

Figures above are sourced from the new study “Wasted Food, Wasted Energy: The Embedded Energy in Food Waste in the United States,” published in Environmental Science & Technology.

How do you avoid food waste?

One idea is to plan meals in advance so you don’t randomly buy items you end up not using. Freezing, canning or drying food are also good ways to avoid waste. You may also consider eating out less given that many restaurants serve portions too big for most of us.

Think you’re not really wasting food?

Um, you could be wrong…. People in the US waste about 27% of their food, says the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Make your new green goal to avoid as much food waste as possible.

In case you’re curious, the top foods that are being wasted include fats and oils, dairy, grains, eggs, sugar or other sweeteners, vegetables and fruit.

Image via MorgueFile.

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