Pimento Cheese, Not Your Grandma's Spread

Pimento cheese is one of those foods that has been so corrupted by the food industry that it has become synonymous with other crappy foods like Spam.  I'm not even certain what store bought pimento cheese might contain, nor do I want to find out.  It's a shame because pimento cheese can be a delightful treat, even if it does Read the full post…

Plum Good BBQ Sandwiches

In a few days it will officially be fall but the temperatures are still warm enough for me to continue swimming for a few more days.  The breeze was a little cool but that didn't stop me from swimming several laps this morning and I felt great afterwards!  Have you exercised lately?  With fall's cooler temperatures and fewer insects, you Read the full post…

Shingles Vacine and Treatment

A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with shingles so I felt I should discuss this nasty virus once again.  If you ever had chicken pox, you are at risk for getting shingles and believe me, you don't want it.  Shingles is a painful rash with blisters that scab over and may take 4 weeks or more to heal.  The Read the full post…

Vegetarian Tacos are muy delicioso!

There are times when I think I could easily become a vegetarian, especially when I try a new dish that is as good as the vegetarian tacos I had at Local Lime restaurant in Little Rock and the tofu fried rice at Sai Tai here in Jonesboro.  My husband and I celebrated our 23rd anniversary this past weekend by spending Read the full post…

Midyear Health Check

Summer is winding down , the year is more than half way over and our January resolutions are long forgotten.  It's time for a health reality check.  First of all, how is your health lately?  If you have enjoyed good health, are you thankful?  Take some time to appreciate how wonderful it feels to be healthy, for your family to Read the full post…

Vacation Lessons For A Healthier Life

  I'm back from a lovely beach vacation and I wish I was still there with all my heart.  Wouldn't it be nice if our every day life was as nice as a vacation?  If we could relax, eat well, sleep and exercise just enough without having to worry about bills, work, illnesses and school, our lives would be perfect.  But Read the full post…

Do You Throw Away Money?

[ Post by Lisa Tedder ][ Post on January 31, 2012 ][ In Diet Tips and Better Eating Ideas ]

Back in August, I wrote about hunger in America.  Now I am writing about the overwhelming amount of food wasted in America each year.  Before you skip this post, give me a minute to explain why you should  read on.

We all must eat so a large part of every household budget goes towards food.  When you throw away food you are throwing away your hard earned dollars.  Interested now?  You might not be able to control the price of gas, your mortgage, rent or electricity but your food budget is pretty flexible.  I’ve been keeping track of how much money I can save by using coupons and buying things on sale.  So far, I’m on track to save about $2000 in one year for a family of four plus four cats and a dog.  Another way to save money on food is to cut out chips, cokes and sweets, or at least cut back drastically.  You can shop for the brands that cost the least and have meatless dinners once in awhile.  The final way to save money is to plan carefully so that food isn’t wasted and thrown away.  The whole family must learn the importance of not wasting food.

On Thursday, I’ll give you several tips to prevent wasting food, thus saving money.  Food waste has a huge economic and environmental impact so I’ll end today by giving you some startling statistics from the Environmental Protection Agency and other sources.  I hope it will make you think before you toss anymore food.

Americans throw away 34 million TONS of food each year.  That is roughly equivalent to 8500 average sized cars.  Only paper is a larger component of msw or municipal solid waste but we recycle more paper.  Food waste is the single largest msw component in landfills and incinerators.  We spend about 1 BILLION dollars each year to dispose of wasted food.  At the home level, we throw away about 470 pounds of food for a family of four each year or about $600 worth.  What could you do with $600?

Food waste has a tremendous environmental impact.  Rotting food in garbage cans attracts rodents and smells bad.  Rotting food in landfills produces methane gas which has 21 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide.

Much of the food waste could be composted which has many benefits.  Composting improves the soil which reduces the need for fertilizer, water and pesticides.  It is easy to compost right at home by collecting fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds and egg shells.  You can place these scraps in a fancy store bought com-poster or create one of your own.  I do this everyday and avoid putting quite a bit of food in the trash.

A tremendous amount of food could be redistributed to those in need.  Day old bread is perfectly good but is often tossed unless a food recovery program is nearby.  With so many in our country going hungry each day, we need to do better than throwing away usable food.

So it seems that there are economical, ethical and environmental reasons to avoid food waste.  I hope you’ll check back on Thursday for some tips to save food.

Upadated on January 31, 2012

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