Everyday Cheapskate: 6 Ways to Stop Throwing Rotten Produce in the Garbage
I'm having a difficult time wrapping my head around this documented fact: In 2016, it was reported that half of all produce grown in the U.S. is thrown out. At the same time, there is growing hunger and poverty right here in America.
As I read this news story, I assumed naively that all U.S.-grown produce makes it to market. Then consumers like you and me get it home and let it go bad before we can consume it, and into the garbage it goes. That is a factor but not the whole story.
The truth is that vast quantities of fresh produce are left in the field to rot. It then becomes livestock feed or gets hauled directly to the landfill because of -- get ready -- cosmetic standards.
Not every potato, watermelon, strawberry or grape cluster turns out photo perfect. Some are ugly or have blemishes. And, unfortunately, that means they do not meet retailer and consumer demands.
Just imagine how the retail cost of produce might plummet if all that is produced -- even the still-nutritious but ugly produce -- were available for sale. More on that in a bit.
I don't know that there's anything we can do individually about this matter of retail waste, but I know we can stop the carnage in our homes.
According to the World Resources Institute, the average U.S. household of four people throws out about $1,600 in rotten food every year. Wow. That makes my head spin! Even if that number is far less in your home, consider these simple ways all of us can stop throwing our food dollars into the garbage.
The way to do this is to have a good, realistic plan for the produce you bring into your house. Make certain you will consume it before it goes bad -- regardless of the great sale price or how beautiful it looks in the store. Simply buying too much is the No. 1 reason that household produce lands in the garbage.
DISINFECT THE FRIDGE