Community contributor Jane Sandwood shares a great perspective on using Freezers to help reduce food waste. At Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services we focus on fighting food insecurity and welcome ideas on how to share and stretch resources for local families.
Are Freezers Key in the Battle Against World Hunger?
When faced with the shocking fact that Americans waste about a pound of food per person each day, it seems hard to face the reality that, while that is happening, 41 million people in the country are still facing hunger on a daily basis. The key to fighting world hunger and solving the hunger and poverty crisis in America might just lie in learning how to reduce food waste by using a common kitchen appliance that you’ve already got in your home.
The Connection Between Food Waste and Hunger
As the WFPUSA notes, hunger in America isn’t about a lack of food. It’s more about the fact that over one-third of the food produced is squandered or spoils before it’s eaten. While this type of food waste generally happens at a harvest level, with those relying economically on their crops being unable to properly store them, it also happens right in the kitchen here at home. While this type of waste undoubtedly has an effect on the environment, it’s the awareness of it all that has the potential to transform the way people buy and eat food. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has released studies showing that if society could band together and reverse the trend of letting $1 trillion of food go to waste each year, it would preserve enough food to feed 2 billion people , which is more than twice the number of undernourished people in the entire world.
How to Reduce Food Waste
It is the awareness of the situation and the overall impact that food waste has on hunger that can really make a change, meaning that it’s extra important to ensure you’re equipped with tips on how to waste less food. Learning how to use your freezer is actually one of the most effective ways to reduce your waste and cut down on the impact you have both socially and environmentally. You can freeze most foods and still receive the same amount of benefits, nutrients and taste as you normally would. Food products such as meat, bread and even fruits and vegetables can be frozen and enjoyed, sometimes with better taste. Freezing fruits in particular not only preserves their freshness but can sometimes enhance the vitamin content. While you’re enjoying the benefits of frozen food in the home, you’ll be cutting down your waste: research published in the British Food Journal revealed that frozen food generates 47% less food waste than non-frozen food.
Reducing Hunger in America
Working to reduce the number of families and individuals that experience extreme hunger on a daily basis begins in the home. Focusing on a zero-waste goal and managing the amount of food that goes to waste in your household is a great step towards solving world hunger, and can have a big impact on the community you live in. Next time you’re at the store, consider purchasing foods that can be frozen and enjoyed at any time in order to ensure you’re not letting it go to waste.
Submitted by: Jane Lloyd