Food is too good to waste!
We often do not realize the amount of food that is thrown away every
day. In 2013 in the U.S., we disposed of over 35 million tons of
spoiled and leftover food. This food ends up in landfills and produces
methane and other greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.
But the news is not all bad! With a little effort and planning, we
can significantly cut down the amount of food waste and create
economic, social and environmental benefits.
The Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, has created a food
recovery strategy to help us do so. It includes 5 simple steps in the
following order: Source reduction, feeding the hungry, feeding
animals, composting and finally landfilling what cannot be used.
Click on the pyramid below for additional information
from the EPA.
process of food waste reduction is easy if we all do our part
REDUCING FOOD WASTE
The three steps are easy: Reduction, Donation and Processing.
Reduce: The best way to cut down food waste is to reduce the
volume of food disposed. This can be done by tracking where and how
food is wasted, reducing the number of menu items and portion sizes,
providing self-serve options, discounting products that are close to
their expiration date and using proper food storage techniques.
A National Perspective on Food Waste Reduction
Donate: Donating good quality food keeps it out of the landfill
and puts it on the plates of those who need it. Contact one of the
organizations below or start your own food donation program. Not only
are you diverting food waste, but also helping those in need. The Bill
Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act protects food donors from
civil and criminal liability should the donated product cause any harm
to the recipient.
How to Donate:
of National Donation Organizations and Laws
Food Donation Guide for Businesses in San Diego County
A Safe Food Handling for Donation Checklist and
Donation Record Form for San Diego County
Feeding America Food Donations
San Diego Food Bank - Donate Food
Donate through Gleaning Groups: You can donate the food from
your backyard trees or orchard. Gleaning groups will collect the fruit
and even pick it for you. One gleaning organization also collects food
from restaurants and grocery stores (Senior Gleaners). Residents of
the Poway/ Rancho Bernardo/ Rancho Penasquitos area are invited to
donate extra backyard produce at sites set up by the Backyard Produce
Project. See the site below for more about local gleaners.
San Diego Gleaners - sandiegogleaners.org
Compost: Spoiled and leftover food is perfect for composting.
It provides the nutrients needed to form a balanced compost pile.
Instead of sending this waste to the landfill, convert it to compost
right in your own backyard! Visit the links below for additional
information on composting and composting seminars in the area!
County of San Diego Composting Information
Composting Workshops and Information
Discounted Compost Bins
EPA Composting Guide
Local Links: Visit the links below for additional local resources
Diego Food System Alliance - Food Recovery Working Group
San Diego Food Bank
Diego North County Alliance
Successful Recycling Case Study - Jimbo's