Every year, in the United States, $54 billion worth of food is thrown away. Ninety-eight percent of the food ends up in landfills instead of compost bins. What does this have to do with climate change?
Global climate change is connected to both how our food is grown and what happens to it when we send it to the landfill. Of course, in many parts of the world no food at all is wasted. But in the industrialized world, we have become a “throw away” society, and that includes food. Landfills produce methane, which is a much more powerful greenhouse gas that carbon dioxide. According to the EPA, landfills are the second–largest human-related source of methane in the U.S., accounting for 23 percent of all methane emissions in 2007. Methane is generated in landfills and open dumps as waste decomposes under anaerobic (without oxygen) conditions.
So, if you have a fridge full of leftovers, don’t let them go to waste! In our house, we love leftovers for lunch, but if you’re not that keen on having what you had last night for supper again the next day, freeze a single-serving container to enjoy for a future hassle-free lunch. And, of course, compost food scraps if you can – everything but meat and dairy. In our corner of the world, people sometimes are opposed to composting because they’re concerned that compost piles attract bears and other wild animals. All I can say is, we have been composting our food scraps for 10 years without a bear ever going near our bin (I did see a mouse once, though).
Here’s a video about food waste and how to avoid it:
And while we’re on the topic of food, I thought I’d share a picture of the amazing pizza my husband made recently. It tasted as good as it looked!
Remember, today is Meat-Free Monday, so consider ways you can eat vegetarian today. One of our favourite, and fast, meat-free meals is Broccoli Garlic Pasta (click on the title for the recipe).
The Meatless Monday website offers recipe and information.