Welcome to the Awareness Team Food Waste Page
Waste not, want not! That’s what my mother used to tell me. In the United States, 40 percent of the food grown is never eaten. And there are plenty of people who are wanting, both in the U.S. and abroad. What is worse is that a lot of the wasted food goes into landfills where it decomposes slowly and generates methane, a greenhouse gas that is much worse than carbon dioxide. What can you do at home? Buy what you need and use what you buy. Freeze food before it goes bad. Turn your scraps into compost, whether in your back yard, with the county pick-up if you are fortunate enough to live in parts of the county where the green bin program has been implemented (see link below), or by taking them to Mom’s Organic Market in Jessup.
On May 19th the Climate Change team presented “Wasted! The Story of Food Waste” hosted by Anthony Bourdain. “Every year 1.3 billion tonnes of food is thrown away, adding up to one third of all food grown for human consumption. Filmmakers explore the reasons for this waste and look for ways to fix the problem.” The trailer for the film is available on YouTube.
Useful information and web links
- Howard County Green Bin program for composting food scraps.
- Natural Resources Defense Council webpage on what everyone can do.
- World Wildlife Fund: Fight Climate Change by Preventing Food Waste
- Washington Post: Climate Impact of Food Waste
- Michigan State: Principles and Benefits of CSAs
- USDA Publication “The Estimated Amount, Value, and Calories of Postharvest Food Losses at the Retail and Consumer Levels in the United States”
- NRDC Issue Paper “Wasted: How America Is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill”
- Rick Kohn’s blog. Rick is a UUCC Member and University of Maryland Professor
- Plate waste of adults in the United States
Contact: Gail Holm