Worldwide, about a third of the food we produce goes uneaten, which generates up to 10 percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, if food waste were its own country, it would rank third in greenhouse gas emissions, behind only China and the US. Households come in first, at 37 percent of the Food Wasted. On September 16, 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the United States’ first-ever national food waste reduction goal, calling for a 50-percent reduction by 2030 (USDA News Release No. 0257.15). As Christians who care for God’s creation, let’s help our country reach that goal!
Green Tip: One way to remind ourselves not to waste food is to say a family grace together before each meal—the common meal prayer “Come, Lord Jesus” refers to the coming foods as “these gifts,” reminding us that our nourishment is a precious gift. Talk as a family about food scarcity in the world. Do a food waste audit of your household. Figure out what goes uneaten. Keep close tabs on your fridge so you know what nourishing food needs to be used before it spoils. Think about how you package and store leftover food: is it well sealed and prominent in the fridge for you to reuse? Consider making two meals in two days, making enough that you can serve it twice, alternating serving them so that you use up both meals in four days. If you have young children who often do not finish their meals, consider whether some of it is safely salvageable to serve them later, as a snack or another meal. A useful guide to doing a family-learning-project for evaluating how much of your food is wasted is at endsandstems.com/conduct-a-food-waste-audit/.