Giving Compass' Take:

• Danielle Nierenberg shares five strategies for preventing food waste in American households. 

• How can funders raise awareness and spur action around food waste? 

• Read about other ways to dramatically reduce food waste. 

The amount of food waste produced in the U.S. every 1.7 minutes weighs the same as the Statue of Liberty. A survey by the NRDC, however, found that 79 percent of people think they produce less food waste than the average American, revealing a disconnect between perceived and actual impact. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) determined that the average household tosses away US $2,200 of perfectly edible food annually. Most of this unnecessary waste ends up in landfills, costing US $2 billion a year to dispose of and producing 16 percent of all U.S. methane emissions.

At the same time, 41.2 million Americans do not know where their next meal will come from, including 12.6 million children and 5.4 million seniors. However, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that if we used all the food currently wasted, we could feed every hungry person in the world — four times over.

But there are ways to prevent waste.

  • Plan ahead and make a list to avoid too much food and impulse-buying at the supermarket.
  • Donate any extra fresh produce and vegetables to Ample Harvest and local food banks.
  • When preparing for large meals, use an online portion calculator, such as one from Love Food Hate Waste.
  • Afterwards, take notes on how much food was actually consumed to better plan for next time.
  • Find new uses for “waste,” like turning vegetable scraps and bones into soup stock. And love your leftovers by exploring new recipes.

Read the full article about the ways you can reduce food waste by Danielle Nierenberg at Food Tank.