Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Myth: I don’t waste food.

Answer: BUSTED… maybe!

Food waste costs the average family of four about $600 a year, and we may be wasting more food than we realize. To know for sure, track your habits by keeping a food waste diary. The food waste diary, an idea from Great Britain, is a daily way to track what food you don’t use or throw out and perhaps, most importantly, why the food was wasted.

To keep a food waste diary, take a piece of paper. Divide it into three columns and head each column as follows: meal or snack, food, and why the food wasn’t used. Every time you eat something throughout the day, enter the meal or snack, the food that wasn’t used and why it was thrown out or wasted. If you have children at home, get them to help you keep this food waste diary. Be sure to list spoiled food in your refrigerator (or cupboard) that you saved to use later but never did.

three food containers with leftover food
Are you using leftovers or throwing them out?
At the end of the week, review the diary. Are the same foods listed more than once? Maybe your family doesn’t like them or you are buying too much of that food. Do leftovers from the same meals get trashed? You may be preparing too much food at these meals. Do you throw out leftover food in containers too often? Maybe containers need to be clearly marked, dated or kept to the front of the refrigerator to remind family members that the food needs to be used. Or maybe you need to have a plan for how you will use – or freeze – leftovers. Save money from going down the drain – track your family’s food waste and change your habits accordingly!

Visit to find additional information on saving money at the grocery store. And get familiar with proper food storage in the refrigerator, cupboard and freezer.

Contributor: Ellen Schuster, M.S., R.D., Associate State Specialist, University of Missouri Extension,, 573-882-1933

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.