3 Simple Ways to Be a Food Waste Warrior
by Guest blogger: Josh Krenz
CEO and Founder of Vivid Life Sciences
Listen to his podcast HERE
The United States is a bountiful nation that is unfortunately also overflowing with vast amounts of food waste. Up to 40 percent of the food in the U.S. is never eaten1 resulting in Americans wasting 130 billion pounds of food every year; more than 4,000 pounds of food per second.2
Growing up on a farm, I learned farm values, including ways to identify better solutions to help people grow food while also sustainably cultivating the land for future generations. I believe being efficient and sustainable is good farming, and good business. We need to raise awareness about America’s astounding food waste problem so more conscious efforts are made to reduce it. Here are three simple ways everyone can become a warrior in the fight against food waste.
- Only purchase what you will eat. Fruit and vegetables are the most likely to be thrown out. Make sure to purchase only those items you and your family will eat. If you stock up on items such as apples and find you’re unable to eat all of them, look for ways to repurpose the food – make applesauce and can it for future consumption, or bake an apple pie and gift it to a friend.
- Pay attention to food dates. Check those expiration dates. If your food will soon expire and you don’t think you’ll be able to eat it before the expiration date, freeze it. This is an ideal way to store food until you can consume it and frozen foods are just as good as fresh!
- Grow your own food. There are numerous benefits to becoming a backyard gardener and growing your own food. You can even grow small container gardens if you’re limited on space. Homegrown fruit and vegetables are often healthier as you have the opportunity to use resources in your garden that reduce the amount of pesticides and are environmentally friendly, like fertilizer made from food waste. You can also save money compared to food costs at the grocery store and gardening increases physical activity.
Everyone from farmers, food processors, grocery stores, schools, restaurants and individuals can make changes to prevent food waste or give it a higher purpose when food waste cannot be prevented. Food waste as fertilizer is a great example of turning a negative situation into a positive as fertilizer made from food already has what growing plants need and is even more nutritious for gardens than composting.
We have real potential to make a significant dent in America’s huge food waste problem when we take simple steps toward prevention and repurposing. Be more than a greener gardener – be a food waste warrior.
1 Natural Resources Defense Council
2 2010 USDA Economic Research Service
About this author:
Josh Krenz is the CEO and founder of Vivid Life Sciences, a plant physiology company offering LIFEFORCE as one of their brand products, which reduces food waste by re-purposing it into fertilizer. He knows the business of farming from both sides — from large-scale sophistication and multi-national distribution with companies like Land O’ Lakes, to boot-strapping startups and tending his cattle. For more information about Vivid Life Sciences and food waste as fertilizer, visit www.lifeforce.organic.