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Citrus Heights News

Posted on: March 6, 2018

Save Money! Save the Planet! Food Waste Prevention Week - March 4-10


Food Waste Prevention Week, March 4th - 10th, is designed to educate the public and raise awareness about the environmental and economic costs of food waste and help Californians reduce the amount of food that ends up in the trash.

Money spent along the food production chain, including the cost of energy, water, fertilizer, harvesting, production, storage, and transportation, also is wasted. Californians throw away nearly 12 billion pounds of food each year, equaling 18 percent of all the material that goes to landfills in the state. On average, a family of four could save nearly $1,500 or more per year by purchasing only the amount of food they need and throwing less away.

Californians are encouraged to take simple actions to prevent food waste. For example:

  • Save Money! Plan your meals weekly before you go shopping and only buy items on your list that you need and will use. 
  • Plan your meals around food you already have. Check your fridge and cupboards, then make a list each week.  
  • Freeze food perishables that spoil quickly, like bread, meat or sliced fruit.  
  • Produce past it's prime? Think soups, casseroles, sauces, stir fries, or baked goods. Revive droopy vegetables in water or blanch and freeze.
  • Use the edible parts of food normally not eaten. Vegetable scraps, roots and tops can be cooked to make soup stocks and side dishes. 
  • Package leftovers in small containers for lunches the next day or freeze leftovers for use later in the week. Have a 'left overs' night.
  • Learn the difference between “sell-by, “use by,” “best-by,” and other expiration date labels to prevent usable food from being thrown away. 
  • Compost food scraps rather than throwing them away. 
  • Nutritious, safe, and untouched food can be donated to food banks to help those in need.

Effective strategies to help reduce food waste at home can reduce more than 20 pounds of food waste per person, per month—and reduce California’s greenhouse gas emissions and combat global climate change. As part of California’s comprehensive strategy to combat climate change, CalRecycle awarded $9.4 million in January to 31 projects to decrease the amount of food waste landfilled in California and increase the state’s capacity to collect, transport, store, and distribute more food to Californians in need.

CalRecycle, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research are joining forces with the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Ad Council on a food waste reduction campaign known as The UglyFruitAndVeg Campaign encourages people to use imperfect-looking produce to prevent nutritious fruits and vegetables from becoming waste.  

For more information on the grants, see CalRecycle’s Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant Program webpage. Click any of the links to find out more!

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