Rethinking Food Waste

Food Waste Graphic from Tufts University

Let’s do better when it comes to food waste!

November 15 was America Recycles Day. It isn’t often that we get a chance to relate food to recycling but when you think of food waste, we can do better.

I don’t have a garbage disposal at my house so what food and food scraps I don’t use are either tossed or composted. One of my solutions to reduce waste is to compost with worms.  Redworms eat their bedding (shredded newspaper) and food scraps leaving you with a rich soil amendment for plants. Worm composting (called “vermicomposting”) can be done year-round and is a great project for the entire family. Of course, having a bin of worms under your kitchen sink isn’t for everyone, but if you are at least curious give it a try. Learn more about vermicomposting here.

I’ve also changed how I purchase foods. I’m a sucker for easy preparation packaging. You know, those shredded bags of lettuce? Certainly convenient, but they don’t seem to last more than a day or two before turning brown and mushy (at this point = food for the worms!). I’m more thoughtful now. I try to grow my own produce and pick when I need it. In the winter, I choose greens that will last longer after I prepare them. I also try to watch the amount of food I prepare and make a plan on how to reuse leftovers or store them safely until they can be used.

As you purchase food and prepare meals today, give thought to any food or food scraps you toss. Can they be composted? How do you reduce food waste coming from your household?

More resources:

For more interesting graphs on Food Waste, read Wordless Wednesday: November15, 2014 is America Recycles Day! from Extension Master Gardeners at Be sure to check with your local university extension office for more resources on programs and information. To find your local office, visit

Have a great day!


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