Food Waste Reduction:
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Reduction is the most effective way of becoming sustainable!
(followed distantly by re-use and recycling)

  • Nearly 1/3 of all food produced for human consumption is wasted!
    This is a tremendous waste of water, energy and resources.

    • 21% of the U.S. agricultural water usage is squandered for producing wasted food.

    • 19% of all U.S. cropland area is used to produce wasted food.

    • 18% of all U.S. agricultural fertilizer is used to produce wasted food.

    • 21% of all U.S. Landfill content is wasted food (largest single component of a landfill)
      Less than 3% of food waste in NYS is currently diverted from landfills.

    • Transportation of wasted food produces 2.6% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions annually.  (Equivalent to 37 million passenger vehicle miles per year.)

    • 1.3% of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is squandered to produce wasted food, wasting $218 Billion of our taxes!

    • Food waste decomposition in landfills produces methane that is ~25X more potent than carbon dioxide.

  • Reduction of food waste is the most effective process to reduce greenhouse gas production (Drawdown 2020 Scenario 1).

Strategies to reduce food waste:

  -  By making small shifts in how we plan, shop, store and prepare food,

     we can eat well, simplify our lives, toss less, save money and prevent waste!

  • Smart shopping and planning (Buy what you need & Eat what you buy):

    • Buy food with thought.

    • Cook food with care.

    • Serve just enough.

    • Save what will keep.

    • Prepare and eat what would spoil.

    • Use home grown or local products.

  • Proper food storage practices:

    • Optimal use of your refrigerator (Eat me First!  Use the freezer).
      NRDC:  The Refrigerator, demystified.

    • Understand expiration and spoilage dates.

  • Creative cooking! 

    • Appropriate portion sizing.

    • Creative use of leftovers - use them all!

  • New York State Law (effective 1-Jan-2022) requires businesses generating > 2 tons of wasted food per week
    -  Donate excess edible food
    -  Recycle remaining food waste (if within 25 miles of an food waste recycler).

Community Action:

  • Misconception:  Food waste is not a pressing problem.

  • Partner with similarly aligned CYCG groups:

  • Work to support the Village and Town of Pittsford in the creation of educational material for Food Waste Prevention programs and help implement educational and outreach activities.

  • Leverage resources and funding from the EPA FTGTW program, the NYSERDA Climate Smart Community program and the NYS DEC funded R.I.T. Pollution Prevention Institute.

Resources: