I was interested in a small story that came through on email yesterday regarding the potential for saving energy simply by not wasting food. The American Chemical Society estimates that the US alone could save the energy equivalent of 35o million barrels of oil per year without spending a penny, or reducing quality of life, just by not wasting food.
It takes the equivalent of about 1.4 billion barrels of oil to produce, package, prepare, preserve and distribute a year’s worth of food in the United States. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that people in the U.S. waste about 27 percent of their food. That’s a huge potential energy saving.
Percentage of Various Foods Wasted in the U.S.
Fats and oils 33%
Sugar and other caloric sweeteners 31%
Meat, poultry, fish 16%
Dry beans, peas, lentils 16%
Tree nuts and peanuts 16%
I wonder how New Zealand would compare? I have to confess that I’m a bit of a food waster. Veges often end up in the compost bin because they go bad before I get to them. I also have to admit that despite my best intentions, I’m pretty shocking when it comes to eating leftovers! I always cook too much and quite a bit of it ends up in the bin.
So how can we reduce the amount of food that we waste? For starters we could get the supermarkets to sell vegetables that don’t go off within 3 days of purchase…