Each month in the US, more than 20 pounds of food per person is disposed of in landfills. Additionally, all the fertilizer, fuel, and hard work that went into growing this food are
Unused food consumes many other resources including:
· 80 percent of all freshwater used in the United States
· 50 percent of the land
· 10 percent of the total U.S. energy budget
And when that wasted food is buried, it generates methane pollution.
In response to the growing problem, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed the Food Waste Hierarchy. The hierarchy includes five levels and is in the order of preference:
Source Reduction in the amount of food purchased or generated is the first step to prevent food from becoming waste. Source reduction steps include making lists, tracking inventory, and buying less.
Resources for Source Reduction
Further With Food
Further with Food provides comprehensive information about food loss and waste in the United States and about solutions dedicated to reducing it. This virtual resource center offers businesses, government entities, investors, NGOs, academics, and individuals the ability to find and share information about proven solutions and innovative new approaches to reduce the volume of surplus food.
Leanpath has been helping businesses with food service operations to reduce food waste while providing both financial and environmental sustainability.
Save The Food. Com
A Partnership between the Ad Council & the Natural Resources Defense Council, Save the Food.com is a national public service ad campaign to combat food waste.
San Diego Food Systems Alliance
The City of Chula Vista participates in the Save the Food San Diego County wide public service campaign.
Environmental Protection Agency
Both businesses and individuals can learn to effectively prevent the flow of wasted food by taking simple steps such as making grocery lists, inventorying supplies, and buying less.
Feed Hungry People
Our food was grown to provide nutrition to people. By collecting unspoiled, healthy food and donating to neighborhood food pantry, you can help feed the more than 485,000 - nearly 1 in 6 people - (170,000 children - nearly 1 in 4) in San Diego that don’t always have enough food to eat.
How to Donate:
Where to Donate:
Other Ways to Donate;
Donate food from your yard and garden through Gleaning groups.
Gleaning groups gather produce that is destined to be wasted, from trees, fields, and farmers markets.
San Diego Gleaning group Directory: http://www.sdfsa.org/gleaning/
Other Resources for donating:
2-1-1 San Diego:
Serving San Diego County, 2-1-1 San Diego connects you with community, health and disaster services through a free, 24/7 stigma-free phone service and searchable database. Simply dial 2-1-1 or search their online database.
Donating food to animals can save farmers and companies’ money. There are farms in San Diego County that currently accept food waste such as brewery grains, food scraps, and bakery items.
Adding food waste to an anaerobic digester can provide a fuel source for vehicles and power generation. Rendering of meats and greases can also provide a fuel source and other products.
Spoiled and leftover food waste is perfect for composting. The product of which contains the nutrients needed to create healthy soils. Instead of sending this waste to the landfill, convert it to compost right in your own backyard!
Landfilling food waste takes up valuable land, pollutes the air, and can potentially contaminate groundwater. Landfilling is the last option for food waste.
Other Methods to Reduce Food Waste:
Food Saving and Storage Techniques
Learn about the USDA’s food waste reduction activities
National Restaurant Association Conserve Program (Non-Government Organization)
The National Restaurant Association's Conserve Program is here to show you how to operate your business efficiently and in more environmentally beneficial ways
Approximately 40% of fruits and vegetables grown don’t make the cut for supermarkets on the basis of looking ugly. Jordan Figueiredo developed a website devoted to eliminate the practice of discarding food with minor imperfections.