September 29th is the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste. The goal is to call for action from both individuals and organizations to pledge to make a difference and decrease the amount of global food waste.

How much food is wasted?

So much food is wasted that it warrants its own day of awareness? You might be surprised. Food takes up more space in US landfills than any other type of waste. The United States discards more food than any other country in the world: 80 billion pounds every year. That’s an estimated 30-40 percent of the entire US food supply, which equates to over 200 pounds of waste per person.

In the United States, food is abundant and less costly, which contributes to a lack of appreciation for food, unlike other societies around the globe which value food much more.

We are often impulsive in our food purchases, incorrectly estimating how much food we need, and as a result, buying more food than is needed or buying food we won’t actually eat.

Why is this important?

Food waste in landfills generates methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. Keeping food waste out of landfills is one way to combat climate change.

Food loss and waste threatens the sustainability of our food systems. When food is wasted, all elements used to produce it (including water, land, energy, labor) go to waste. It also contributes to increasing the cost of food.

How can I make a difference?

Adopt the principles of mindful eating. Take time every week to think about your meals and be thoughtful about your grocery store hauls. Compost your food scraps either in your own garden, or use a compost pickup service. (Did you know the city of Hoboken has free compost drop-off locations?!)

How does mademeals reduce food waste??

At mademeals reducing food waste is one of our key values. By having our order window close several days before delivery, we have time to source only what is necessary to fill those orders. Choosing local suppliers helps us receive those ingredients quickly and avoid food spoilage, as well as the freshest possible components for our meals. Overall much less food is wasted and we only cook what is needed.