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Food waste is discarded or uneaten food and is a rising problem from a financial and social point of view.

For perspective, if one-fourth of the total food wasted was consumed, it would be enough to feed 12 percent of the world’s population.

To add to the problem, waste management costs a lot of money and in an economy where food prices are rising and there are international food shortages, food wastage is more and more alarming.

In order to maintain and protect food security for the planet’s growing population as well as keep food prices from continually rising, we all need to do our part.

One of the most beneficial ways to cut down on food waste is by composting, which can also be used to grow your own food.

To get a better understanding on how you can help reduce food waste, here’s a closer look at the issue along with useful tips on how to start composting.

The Negative Impact of Food Waste

Food waste impacts us in many negative ways, which includes the following:

It wastes water.

Water is essential for food production. Be it irrigation, pouring, spraying, or by other means, water is an integral part of growing feed and sustaining sound agricultural practices.

It’s estimated that 21 percent of our freshwater use goes towards growing food that ends up being wasted. Water that could otherwise have been used for planting, growing, sustaining, and producing food.

It wastes land.

Land use can be separated into two very contrasting categories: land used for the production of food, and land used for the retention of food waste, in the form of dumps.

When the amount of food waste increases, the amount of land used as dumps to accommodate all the food waste also increases. Land which could otherwise have been used to grow crops.

It wastes oil.

Oil, fossil fuels, and diesel are required to grow, store, transport, and cook food. The machinery used in food production uses massive amounts of oil, which ultimately goes to waste when food is thrown out.

Using this much oil also releases dangerous amounts of greenhouse gases like methane into our already fragile environment.

Ways to Reduce Food Waste

As seen above, wasting food doesn’t just waste food. It also wastes other valuable resources like water, land, and oil.

To help reduce food waste, there are a number of things you can do to help, including:

Composting

Composting is one of the best ways to utilize and repurpose wasted food.

It’s a major player in radical recycling. It’s the ultimate “giving back” because when you compost, you’re nourishing the soil and helping the environment by reducing food waste.

Composting is free, easy, and the rewards are incredible. Composting even reduces your trash output by about 50 to 75%.

It further provides organic and rich matter that feeds your soil, encourages earthworms, and enables water retention.

Avoid Overbuying

The simplest way to avoid food wastage is to buy less. Buy responsibly. Buy what’s necessary.

Go into the supermarket or grocery store with a to-buy list so you know exactly what you need. This prevents buying things you otherwise wouldn’t have.

A packed fridge may be pleasing to look at, but it has many consequences for the environment if the household can’t finish all the food.

Think Twice Before Throwing Food Away

Fruits and vegetables that have gone too long in the fridge often start to wilt and even mold at times. This is not a sign to throw them away. Rather, use them in your compost, your soil will be grateful for it.

Keep Track of Your Spoiled Foods

By identifying the foods that spoil easily, you can limit the purchase of these foods, allowing you to store foods that will last longer and reduce wastage.

Composting is one of the best ways to utilize and repurpose wasted food.

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How to Compost

Composting is an easy way to save our planet. Composting allows you to give back to the soil, enriching it with vital nutrients necessitating plant growth.

Compost is good manure for the soil, allowing you to grow your own vegetables if you choose to, instead of spending money elsewhere.

You can compost in many ways. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A compost bin
  • A sunny or shady spot for the bin (depending on the type)
  • A pitchfork
  • A started batch of compost
  • Shears or scissors

Composting can be done in an outdoor hot pile, compost bin, or underground pile. Keep your compost bin properly aerated, well-protected, and easily accessible.

A bonus would be to use a bin made from recyclable materials. Once you decide on the right method of composting for you, you’ll need to know what to put into your compost and what to let go of.

You can typically put in everything from vegetable scraps and spoiled fruit to grains and dairy. Be careful not to put in meat or heavy oils.

An easy way to tell what to put into your compost is by remembering that anything that comes from the soil can be put back into the soil.

Benefits of Reducing Food Waste and Composting

There are numerous benefits to composting. The top one being that it single-handedly brings down the amount of food waste per household.

  • Food waste in landfills and dumps often generates methane. By composting food, methane emissions are also significantly reduced.
  • Compost reduces the need for artificial fertilizers.
  • Composting results in higher production of agricultural crops.
  • Composting helps aid in reforestation, habitat revitalization, and wetlands restoration efforts, as it improves marginal, compacted, and contaminated soils.
  • Composting enhances the soil’s ability to retain water.

The benefits of composting to reduce food waste are many. It’s an easy method to give back to the soil while also safeguarding the environment. Plus, it can save you money.

Conclusion

The information above will hopefully help you take the first step towards making a difference. If we educate ourselves, make smart decisions and do our part, we can protect the resources needed for generations to come.

At Quotacy, we understand the importance of planning for the future, which is why life insurance is so important for preserving your family’s way of life and give you peace of mind.

If you’re ready to find a life insurance policy that will secure your loved ones’ financial future, we’d love to help.

To see prices and compare policies, start with a free life insurance quote.

About the writer

Headshot of Natasha Cornelius, a life insurance writer, for Quotacy, Inc.

Greg Lewerer

Director of Creative Strategy

Greg is Quotacy’s Director of Creative Strategy. He has an eclectic past from working on movie scripts to creating ad campaigns for major brands. His love of creative solutions drove him to strategy, and he now uses his powers to help families protect their loved ones. Outside of work, Greg spends his time off the grid hunting, fishing, camping, biking, hiking, and walking his dogs.