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Sat Jan 12, 2013, 04:10 PM

How the world manages to waste half its food

Between 30 and 50 percent of all the food thatís produced on the planet is lost and wasted without ever reaching human stomachs. Thatís the stunning takeaway from a new report (pdf) from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

Weíve covered food waste before on this blog, but those figures seemed staggering to the point of absurdity. So I thought Iíd comb through the report and pull out some of the concrete details that help illustrate just how the world can actually waste this much food.


Obviously, most the waste occurs before it even hits your shopping cart but still, I do my best. Maybe because my parents lived through the great depression, they hammered the concept into me.

All my food goes into a rotation. For example, I usually have about five to ten pounds of brown rice on hand at all times and yes, brown rice will eventually go bad so I keep the containers in rotation. Oldest gets used up first. Same thing goes for the fridge. It's probably more rice than I need to store between grocery visits but it's also part of my emergency stock. (Oh yeah, I was also a boy scout so preparedness, etc.)

I freeze my bread and transfer as needed to the fridge. Since it's all destined for the toaster anyway, it doesn't matter.

When I peel my Brussels sprouts, I wash the loose leaves and add them to my salad. When I cut up broccoli, I don't just eat the florets. I dice up the stems and add them to my rice or use them in a soup. Same goes for celery leaves.

When I buy fresh meat, I re-portion everything into single meal (or two) portions and store them in the freezer. All leftovers get used one way or another. If it's edible, I find a way to use it.

If you have tips of your own, post them!

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Reply How the world manages to waste half its food (Original post)
pokerfan Jan 2013 OP
eilen Jan 2013 #1
pokerfan Jan 2013 #2
Why Syzygy Jan 2013 #3

Response to pokerfan (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 04:37 PM

1. Soup.

Pot liquor from pot roast, cooking water from beans, etc-- I reuse. I make soups with dried beans, veggies (leftover veggies go in too) any bones or carcass from chickens, duck etc. I use leftover rice as crusts for quiche/frittata pie.

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Response to eilen (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 05:14 PM

2. Yep, soup is the great catch-all

I find it funny how the stalks of broccoli are considered waste and the flowering part edible where with celery it's the other way around.

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Response to pokerfan (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 01:41 AM

3. k&r

Kicking because this needs to be known by those who claim our beautiful planet is incapable of supporting the life forms living here.

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