2013 soybeans, landscape

We’ve probably all done it. Forgotten something in the back of the refrigerator and then had to deal with the stinky, rotten or moldy consequences.

As Americans we’re also pretty bad at throwing away ‘good’ food, too – items that would be safe to eat but end up in the garbage can for whatever reason. In fact, the USDA estimates we throw away 133 billion pounds of edible food every year at a cost of $370 per person.

Food waste has environmental costs, too – both in terms of wasted production and emissions from food waste in landfills. To get a grip on the food garbage problem and ways to combat it, take a look at our fresh picked tidbits for this week’s Friday Five:

  1. For starters, ‘Let’s Talk Trash’ from USDA helps put the problem in perspective with a few numbers & pictures. The 90 billion pounds depicted here is a little less than the 133 billion reported elsewhere, but that may be because it can be difficult to get an accurate count (see #3)
  2. Last week, USDA & EPA announced plans to cut food waste 50% by 2030, as reported by the Washington Times.
  3. For a deeper look at the food waste numbers and the challenge of tackling the problem, check out this article from Wall Street Journal.
  4. Perhaps the U.S. needs to takes some cues from Denmark, which is leading the way in reducing food waste, as reported by NPR’s The Salt.
  5. And for a few ways to get you started in curbing food waste in your own kitchen, check out these 10 Tips to use food you might consider tossing, also from NPR’s The Salt.

What can you do to reduce food waste?