How Food Finder Can Help Eliminate Food Waste, Outside of Food Banks
About half of food waste happens before it even gets to our plates. Click here to learn how your extra pantry food can help minimize this food waste while helping to feed people in your community.
It’s obvious, right, if you have too much food, you can drive across town and donate it. Just make sure that what you’re donating isn’t perishable. From my perspective, the issue with this is that almost everything that is going to accumulate into my “food waste” bucket are the perishables. It’s the dairy, meats, fruits, and veggies that I mostly go bad. It’s not the canned goods. The foods in my refrigerator are also the more expensive of the foods I buy. My canned goods cost far less than my meats and veggies. In my area, most of the food banks don’t take perishables. So, what do you do with the food you can’t get to before you have to throw it away? You have several options.
One of the first steps is coming to terms with the food waste you and your family generate and decide if reducing food waste is something you really want to change. This type of change may require adopting a couple of new habits, but once you’re on board, it will save you money and help people in your community.
Food waste is a worldwide problem, particularly in the U.S. It is estimated that American consumers waste around $144 billion worth of food annually. At the same time, there are people and families who can’t afford nutritious meals or struggle with hunger. For some, having enough to eat is a real problem. It’s now possible to offer food to those who need it without having to drive across town to donate it at a food bank, or worse, letting the food just sit around and expire.
Use Food Finder to Sell or Donate Extra Food Items
If you know you will have food waste, and some of the other suggests don’t work to reduce your food waste, consider working with Food Finder. Food Finder has developed a way to solve the problem on a national level. The actions we take as individuals can impact the lives of many. As a Pantry, you can donate or sell your extra food items to people in your community, the people who need it. Hunger happens. It occurs on many levels and for a variety of reasons. Those with too much food can easily list their food items, allowing Food Finder Members a way to find it. Pantries can offer their extra food items for free or for sale. The choice is up to you. If you are trying to reduce food waste in your home and help feed other people in the process? It’s easy to do with Food Finder. Food Finder connects people with too much food with those experiencing food insecurities.
Many Foods Have Longer Shelf Life Than You May Think
One of the main reasons people throw away so much food is because it’s expired or gone bad. Click here to learn more about how expiration dates work and what they really mean. Many pantry items “keep” in the fridge are good to eat even after their expiration dates. People seem to fear using foods past the manufacturer recommended expirations dates.
For example, eggs can last for about 2-3 weeks after the ‘best by’ date, given you’ve kept them refrigerated.
Pantry foods such as rice, spices, bone broth, canned foods, flour & grains, fermented goods, oils, and sweeteners are good to use if they still taste okay. It’s best to keep your foods in airtight containers in a cool, dark pantry. You want to make sure that longer shelf life items like flour don’t become infected with bugs. It happens to foods within the expiration date, but the longer foods are around, the more chance they have of an infestation. While there is an expense to purchasing airtight containers, in the end, they’re reusable and pay for themselves over time.
Get Creative with What You Already Have
Remember last year, around the holiday’s when you were thinking about baking Baklava, Classic Christmas Cake, Cuddureddi Christmas Biscuits, Fruit Cake, or Molten Lava Brownies for your family and shipping goody baskets? The recipes you bought all the ingredients for but never got around to baking? Almost a year later, you continue to move the ingredients around in your pantry when you’re looking for something? It’s those items that we keep around for years, even decades, and never actually get around to using. You may be throwing a lot of your food away because you can’t figure out what to do with it, or it’s in the way. Consider circling back to baking the “goodies” and sending to loved ones or spend one cold Sunday baking, and take the desserts to work, earning lots of brownie points along the way, no pun intended. It’s a great way to use up those items and free up some space in your pantry. There are ingenious apps that allow you to type in the ingredients you have, offering suggestions of what to make. A simple Google search and you should have a variety of options.
A little creativity and you can reduce your personal food waste by sharing handmade desserts with your friends and family.
Now You Know How You Can Reduce Food Waste and Help Feed Other People
If you want to help reduce food loss in your community, consider signing up as a Pantry on FoodFinder.Org . This way, people who need nutritious food can find it for free or at a discount.
Keyword(s): food waste, food loss, food donations, eliminate food waste, food insecurities, pantry, food banks