By Dr. Mercola | Mercola.com
Each year, American households throw away $640 worth of food apiece, typically because they buy too much or fail to eat the leftovers. The survey, conducted by the American Chemistry Council (ACC), revealed that three-quarters of Americans throw away food once a month while half do so once a week…
Most of those polled (79 percent) were concerned with the amount of money wasted by throwing away food, while half said they felt bad tossing food when others worldwide are hungry.
A much less pressing concern were the environmental impacts, which concerned just 15 percent of respondents. However, food waste is the biggest collective “item” in US landfills. To keep up with so much waste, some cities have even started composting programs to help keep it out of the garbage stream.
And ACC’s survey poses just one estimate of food waste. A study by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) found Americans throw away $165 billion worth of food a year, which amounts to up to $2,200 per household.
Many Americans succumb to grocery store marketing tactics that encourage impulse buys and larger purchases, yet when they bring such perishables home find they end up spoiling before being eaten. The tips below, from TIME, can help you to make your food last longer so, ultimately, you waste less.
12 Food-Saving Tips
Store these in a paper bag in a cool, dark place (like a garage or basement) as long as the temperature is above freezing. This will keep onions fresh for more than two weeks. Storing onions in old pantyhose is another option and may help keep them fresh for up to eight months (tie a knot in between each one to keep them separate).
Hard cheeses like Parmesan can last for months if stored properly. Remove the wrapper from the store, wrap the cheese in parchment paper, and follow with a layer of foil. This will help keep in moistness. And if you notice a spot of mold on hard cheeses, don’t throw it away!
Simply cut off at least 1 inch around and below the mold spot (keep the knife out of the mold itself so it will not cross-contaminate other parts of the cheese). After trimming off the mold, re-cover the cheese in fresh wrap.
Berries are highly perishable, so eat them quickly for best results. If you need to extend their shelf life by a day or two, rinse them in a mix of one part vinegar to three parts water.
Herbs stay fresh by trimming the stems then placing them in a glass of water, similar to a bunch of cut flowers. A paper towel or baggie placed loosely over the top, and then stored in the fridge, will help keep them even fresher.
Store apples in your refrigerator in the bottom drawer, which has high humidity.