Article Contributed by
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program would like to bring awareness to a growing national problem-food waste. According to the USDA, about 90 billion pounds of edible food goes uneaten each year in the United States. This costs most people about $370 each year. As our world population continues to grow, the need for more awareness on this issue will become greater. Less food loss and waste can help save money, improve food access, and protect natural resources. Food waste makes up the largest component going into landfills which has negative effects on our environment and leads to unnecessary costs for processing the waste.
Everyone has a responsibility to keep our earth and resources protected. Here are a few things we can do: become more mindful about planning, purchasing, protecting, preserving, storing, re-purposing, donating and recycling food. Being conscious of your family’s food waste can also help you save money. Prepare food according to family size to minimize food waste. Use leftovers to try new recipes and stretch meals throughout the week. Another key to reducing food waste is keeping a clean, organized food pantry and refrigerator. Food is less likely to go to waste when you use older foods first and you can see what foods need to be eaten first. Do you have non-perishables that are not being used? There are many shelters, food banks, and faith-based organizations that will accept donations to feed others in need of food.
For more information on what you can do, and ideas to help reduce waste, go to www.choosemyplate.gov.
The EFNEP Program is one of many programs offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County (CCE-Chautauqua). CCE-Chautauqua is a subordinate governmental agency with an educational mission that operates under a form of organization and administration approved by Cornell University as agent for the State of New York. It is tax-exempt under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The association is part of the national cooperative extension system, an educational partnership between County, State, and Federal governments. As New York’s land grant university Cornell administers the system in this state. Each Cornell Cooperative Extension association is an independent employer that is governed by an elected Board of Directors with general oversight from Cornell. All associations work to meet the needs of the counties in which they are located as well as state and national goals. For more information, call 716-664-9502 or visit our website at www.cce.cornell.edu/chautauqua. Cornell University Cooperative Extension provides equal program and employment opportunities.