REDUCING WASTE: HOW YOU CAN HELP

Developed countries are resposible for most of the food left uneaten on grocery-store shelves, on restaurant plates, and in home refrigerators.

Here are some tips to reduce your waste foodprint.

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AT HOME

Small changes in the kitchen can reduce the amount of food your household throws out.

• Use FoodKeeper or other apps for food-expiration reminders.

• Switch to smaller dishes to control portions. The standard plate is 36 percent larger than it was 50 years ago.

• Eat leftovers on a regular night each week.

• Give uneaten food a second chance. Freeze or can extras. Blend bruised fruit into smoothies.

• Try not to waste water-intensive foods like meat.

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AT STORE

Make careful decisions about what and how much you buy at the grocery store.

• Shop at stores that offer misshapen food at a discount.

• Purchase prepared meals at the deli or salad bar, which allows supermarkets to make use of imperfect produce.

• Buy frozen foods, which suffer fewer losses from farm to shelf.

• Shop often. Start with a large trip and then make smaller follow-ups to buy a few days’ worth of produce at a time.

• Buy fresh food at local farmers markets.

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AT RESTAURANT

Americans spend about as much at restaurants as they do at grocery stores.

• Skip the cafeteria tray. Diners who use trays waste 32 percent more than those who carry their plates in their hands.

• Take home leftovers.

• Share side dishes to keep portions under control.

• Ask the waiter to hold extras such as bread and butter you don’t plan to eat.

• Encourage restaurants and caterers to donate leftovers.

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IN YOUR COMMUNITY

Businesses, schools, nonprofits, and governments can all find ways to dump less food.

• Bring back home economics classes to teach cooking, canning, and storage basics.

• Get your school to join the USDA Food Waste Challenge.

• Ask your local government for a curbside food-scrap collection service like that provided in roughly 200 U.S. communities.

• Share the bounty of your home garden with your community through ampleharvest.org.