Tackling Food Waste: Will Blockchain Offer A Solution?
It seems that we are hearing more and more about going green and trying to live more sustainably. In recent years, we’ve also heard more about reducing the amount of food that gets thrown away or goes unused.
Reducing food waste is a wonderful goal to have. If you’re contemplating your food usage and looking for some tips to help reduce food waste at home, read on.
How Much Food is Wasted
It might surprise you to learn that the amount of food we collectively waste every year is huge. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ran some numbers on food waste in 2018. They say that more than 63 million tons of food were wasted that year alone. That is a mind-blowing number! We can all do our part to make a dent in that figure with a few tweaks to our daily routines around food.
When you make meals at home, start by reducing the amount of food that you actually prepare. This is especially helpful if you or your family are not big fans of eating leftover food. By only making enough for one meal, you can eliminate the problem of uneaten leftovers hanging around in your fridge or freezer.
Sometimes, it’s not always possible to prepare the perfect amount of food. Some things come in gigantic packages while other parts of the meal might not. Or you may simply not be great at estimating the amount of food you’ll eat in one sitting.
If any of this rings true, then make sure you properly wrap and store any leftover food. Leftovers can be handy for a meal on the go, or when you just don’t feel like cooking. Keep them front and center in your fridge though, or you run the risk of forgetting about them. Besides being totally disgusting to discover molding, unidentifiable food in the fridge, uneaten leftovers end up in the landfill as waste.
Make More Grocery Runs
Instead of heading to the grocery store only once per week, consider going more often. It’s not always easy to know what you’re going to consume in a week, and that fresh produce looks so tempting on the shelf. However, those bananas turn brown and mushy quickly if they sit on the counter for too long.
Buying fewer items at one time and making more trips to the grocery store could help you minimize the food you buy and don’t eat.
Plan Your Meals
If frequenting the grocery store more often isn’t a realistic possibility for you, consider meal prepping. Buy the foods for the week at one time, then go home and get things prepared. That could mean chopping up vegetables and fruit, or it might mean cooking extra chicken and freezing it for later use.
The idea is to plan your meals and only buy what you know you will need for your week ahead. Taking time to prep your fresh produce and meat ahead of the busy workweek can also help you cut back on wasting food. It also eliminates that tired old question of “What do you want for supper tonight?”
Blockchain Can Cut Back
Some aspects of food waste are completely out of our control. Fresh produce, for instance, can spoil while in transit to various grocery stores across the country. Blockchain technology may be able to help us move toward a goal of reducing food waste by 50 percent by 2030 here in the U.S.
Blockchain can come in and help distributors and suppliers track all that fresh produce more efficiently. That might mean keeping a closer eye on conditions while the food is in transit, helping to cut back on spoilage and even foodborne illness outbreaks. Using blockchain might also help to create a more standardized process across the industry, further helping to reduce waste.
It certainly seems that blockchain can be a helpful tool on our way to reducing food waste in the future.
Try Reducing Food Waste
We do have control over how much food gets wasted in our own homes. If you’re new to the idea of how much food is wasted, pay attention to your own habits around food. Then, try out one or two of these ideas and see if they work with your lifestyle. Starting small will feel less overwhelming, and you can always incorporate more ideas as you go.