What Can You Do About Food Waste?
While food waste piles up, many Americans go hungry. Here are 6 ways to help.
Those last few bites of spaghetti. A new dish the family refused. The forgotten produce in the back of your fridge.
They all started in your kitchen — but they’ll likely end up in a landfill.
Wasting food is a challenge for many of us, and the effects ripple across countries, industries and our environment. And while our food expires, many people in the United States still struggle to find their next meal.
Food waste is a real problem, but by working together, it’s one we can tackle.
We’re all part of the problem.
Today, 40 million Americans face food insecurity — and just 15% of the food we waste could feed 25 million of them.
We can all be part of the solution.
Here are a few ways we can help reduce wasted food and prevent hunger.
- Donate your extras.
Maybe you bought too many beans, or no one in the house will eat canned pineapple. Collect what you won’t use and give it to a local nonprofit.
If you move to a new place, use moveforhunger.org. They work with movers who volunteer to donate your nonperishable items to a local food bank.
Our food waste takes up 21% of our total landfill volume.
- Shop smart.
Instead of stockpiling food, purchase only what you know you’ll need. Try meal planning so you know what you’re cooking in the days ahead.
Food waste generates 37 million cars’ worth of climate change pollution per year.
- Lower your (produce) standards.
Good news — ugly carrots taste just as good as their prettier counterparts. So take a chance on imperfect fruits and vegetables, and consider buying from companies like Misfits Market, which delivers food that supermarkets can’t sell.
- Store like a pro.
Prevent food from spoiling by storing it correctly. For example:
- Don’t refrigerate potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, cucumbers and onions; just store them on the counter.
- Keep ethylene-producing produce like bananas, avocados and peaches away from ethylene-sensitive ones like potatoes, apples and berries.
- Freeze your leftovers, as well as produce that’s about to turn. Then thaw or heat them later for an easy meal!
- Turn to compost.
Many of your food scraps can turn into nutrient-rich compost to feed plants. From tabletop bins to outdoor options, there’s a fit for every home.
The cost of food waste: A staggering $280,000,000,000, or 1.3% of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP)
- Support hunger-focused nonprofits.
Volunteer with and donate to nonprofits that advocate for food rescue and combat food insecurity.
Ready to help?
Join P&G and the Feeding America® network of food banks to provide everyday essential products and food to communities in need.