Imagine that you were going to work every day, and when you got paid, as soon as the money was in your hand, you took 40% and burned it.
That sounds really self-defeating to me. If you don’t want that money, why work the hours in the first place?
No sane person would ever do what I just described with something as valuable as money, but in the United States, the population does it with food.
In all honesty, I am never taken in by statistics. There is always a lot of room for error, and we should be keenly aware of the manipulative nature of headline numbers. But still, 40%, if they managed to get the data to say that at all, there is some pretty major food wasting going on in the United States.
I would never throw away money…
It may shock you to know that money is pretty easy to make. Especially in the digital era. It’s just a number in a computer. You can make as much as you want, and if you threw away 40% of your digital money, the environment wouldn’t feel a thing.
Food on the other hand, is something that has physical existence. It has to be grown, handled, moved around, and in some cases processed and packaged. Food is as real as it gets.
So when food is wasted, that waste represents a major drag on both the national and personal economy, not to mention the squandering of a precious resource.
Get real about your buying habits
There is nothing free in a supermarket.
Ok, the free samples, they are free to you. But you can’t live on free samples.
Look at how you buy, and what you don’t end up using.
How do you shop?
If you are spending your Saturday afternoon throwing away all the food that spoiled in your apartment during the week, it is probably time to start to rethink your shopping habits.
A few tips that can save you money, and help the environment:
- Don’t go to the supermarket when you are hungry. Eat lunch, then go shopping.
- Bring your own containers, or better yet, don’t obsessively put fruits and veggies in a container at all. Just get a canvas bag or use your backpack. It’s fine, you can wash them later. If you buy in bulk, bring your own air-tight container.
- Shop more often. Make time to shop every two days. In addition to not buying as much, the food is less likely to spoil, and you will be eating fresher food. Also shopping won’t take as long, so you won’t be spending two hours at the mega-mart, filling a cart with stuff that you are going to end up throwing away.
It isn’t hard to make some simple changes in your habits that will do you some good for you. And as an added bonus, you will be helping to ease the strain on a food production system that is being pushed pretty hard.
Food, unlike money, can’t be created with a keystroke or two.