Food Waste Landfills Facts and Help
Have you ever considered the amount of food waste thrown away each day in landfills? It is estimated that people waste up to 1,000 pounds of food per year. The majority of the waste is caused by overeating. Here are some interesting facts about the amount of food that ends up in landfills.
Individuals and Industries Produce Billions of Tons Of Food Waste Every Year
According to the EPA, businesses and consumers generated 335 billion pounds worth of food waste from production through consumption. Nearly 25% of the food waste ended up in landfills. It is a serious problem, as rotting foods attract vermin and increase methane production. They also take up valuable landfill space.
Imagine the amount of food wasted in 335 billion pounds. Imagine the rotting food covering California and New York.
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Food waste could feed more than 150 million people.
The most commonly thrown-away food is dairy, eggs, and vegetables. Around 150 million people could benefit from the food waste. Bulk purchases can be a great way to save money, but they often spoil before use.
You can prevent food waste by freezing the extra and storing it in your freezer safely until you need it. You can freeze egg yolks separately or in the same ice cube tray as whites. One section of an ice-cube tray holds one egg unless it is a large ice-cube tray.
Tip: Use silicone ice cube trays to make it easier to remove frozen eggs. If you prefer, spray the ice-cube tray first with cooking oil spray.
One pound of food waste generates almost four pounds of methane.
One pound of food waste can generate 3.8 pounds of methane. This methane can be used to heat the building. Composting food and saving it as meat, dairy, and bread compost can generate energy.
Home composting saves space.
Food waste can occur during the manufacturing and processing process. You can prevent food waste by growing as much produce as possible. You can avoid losing crops when you grow your fruits and vegetables. Container gardening and raised bed gardens are equally effective as large in-ground beds.
Composting your vegetable and fruit scraps will create rich soil for your garden. You can get started in a few ways that don’t require too much effort. Purchase a plastic or compost bucket with a screw-on lid. When preparing meals or snacks, move trimmings, pits, and peels into the compost bucket. You can add the following items to your compost bucket.
- Bleach-free paper products
- Coffee grounds
- Peels of fruit and vegetables
- Spent grains from homebrewing
- Tea leaves
- Chop large items (leaves, stalks, etc.) to accelerate decomposition
Add this to your compost pile or bin every few days. Use a shovel or pitchfork to aerate your compost periodically. This will help it to break down faster. A barrel-style composter, which you can spin to create compost with little effort, is ideal if you have money and space.
Mix the compost into your soil as it breaks down. You can mix them in once there are no recognizable vegetables or fruits. You can pile up excess compost in your garden until you need it.
Even without compost, you can still send your food waste to an approved facility. If everyone followed this method, 14 billion pounds would be produced as compost for fertilizer.
Have you noticed that your potatoes have sprouted? Plant them in sections. These potato sections will decompose and provide nutrients to the sprouts. You’ll have fresh potatoes by fall.
Worms can consume up to 35% of their body weight in daily food scraps.
Some people have discovered vermiculture or worm gardening. You can buy a pre-made worm garden or use buckets and old coolers. Fill one section with coconut coir and compost, leaves, coconut paper, white paper, cardboard, shredded newspapers, etc. It should be loose and good.
Buy red wigglers and allow them to establish a home on your created tray. They will eat cardboard, fruit and vegetable scraps, and coffee grounds.
A worm farm can be kept indoors, such as in a garage, basement, or home. Vermicomposting is an excellent option if you live in an area that does not allow outdoor compost bins due to the presence of bears or other wild animals. The worms can eat as much as 35% of their weight daily. They will process food scraps efficiently for you.
Also, worms multiply very quickly. Sell your extra worms to make money. The current price per 1,000 worms is around $50. Vermicompost is also a great way to save money on fruits and vegetables.
You can use leftovers to make other dishes.
Use leftovers. You only need the leftover chicken from your roast chicken to make homemade chicken stock or bone broth. Stock can be frozen until needed.
Leftover mashed potatoes? Make them into potato and leek soup or make patties for breakfast. Make potato and leek mashed potatoes or potato pancakes. You can use leftover vegetables in soups and stews. You can freeze any vegetables you will not operate on time.
You can store cooked meats in the refrigerator for three days. However, seafood must be consumed within two days. You can freeze them if you plan to use them outside these timeframes. If they are in an airtight container, cooked vegetables can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
You can make a Shepherd’s Pie with leftover mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables. When planning your weekly menu, consider pairings such as these. This saves you time and reduces food waste.
Where can you find places that accept organic waste?
Need help locating a local recycler for organic waste (including food scraps)? Use the Recycle Nation recycling tool to find your local organic waste recycler. Many solid waste districts offer programs. If there isn’t a program near you, then ask local farmers. They often use food scraps as animal feed.