Food For Better Health,  Pasta,  Political Food Policies,  Recipes

How To Battle Food Waste At Home

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Food waste is the #1 item thrown away in the United States!

A family of four, on average, spends $1,800 each year on food that is thrown away, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. 

Fruits and vegetables are the TOP TWO items thrown away.

I could go on and on with statistics, but I would rather focus on Barilla’s efforts to reduce food waste and support sustainability.

Barilla’s Center for Food and Nutrition

Established in 1877, Barilla is an Italian food company distributing pasta, sauces and other products to over 100 countries world wide.

Exemplifying diversity in food production, Barilla offers pasta for different type of dietary needs.

Barilla pasta products

        • High Protein
        • Veggie Produced
        • Whole Grain
        • Organic
        • Legume Pasta
        • Gluten Free

Almost every household has pasta in their pantry, which rarely, if ever, is thrown away – reducing food waste. 

In 2016, Barilla conducted a consumer survey which revealed;

one in four Millennials consistently throws away food before it’s eaten and that Millennials are twice as likely to throw away their food as baby boomers.
Pasta as wasted food survey results
More info: http://bit.ly/2mDLtzo

Through the BFCN, and in cooperation with Waste Watcher Observatory, Barilla has discovered, not all food is “wasted”.

Part of it is “lost”, say experts, explaining that food loss refers to the decrease of food intended for human consumption occurring during the early stages of the food supply chain: production, post-harvest and processing stages. (Taken from the BFCN website)

Through initiatives, research and action – Italy ranks 5th among  67 countries {participating in Food Sustainability Index,} at reducing food waste.

Maybe the rest of the world should learn a few things from Italy?

Food Waste Impacts Sustainability

compost bin for food wasteFood waste is one of the great challenges of sustainability.

Some experts suggest, if we could reduce food waste by just 25%, we could eradicate hunger.

I don’t know if that is true, but I DO KNOW, food in the garbage can – goes to the landfills – which increases greenhouse emissions.

Creating compost from food waste is a simple way to do your part!

LEARN HOW TO START COMPOSTING AT HOME

Using a simple compost bin at home reduces your family’s carbon footprint.

CLICK TO BUY YOUR OWN


Donating unused food to local food banks, also reduces food waste.

Supposedly one in six Americans is food insecure. Find food rescue organizations using the Food Rescue Locator, launched by Sustainable America, End Food Waste and the Food Rescue Alliance.

If you grow your own food, you can donate extras from your harvest to food banks.

Since 2010, Barilla has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 30% and has reduced their water consumption by 21%!!!

Everyone needs to support sustainable agriculture, policies and brands who encourage such practices.

Barilla’s Double Pyramid

Barilla created the double pyramid inspired by the Mediterranean diet.

One pyramid highlights the nutritional valve of food and the other demonstrates the environmental impact of certain foods.

Barilla's double food pyramid to avoid food waste

Barilla’s food pyramid is an educational tool, encouraging us to eat fruit and vegetables. The image rises upwards to sweets and red meat, which we should eat less of.

On the opposing pyramid, fruits and vegetables have the least amount of impact on the environment; whereas, beef and sweets have the most dramatic impact.

According to the BCFN, if over the course of a year a person avoids eating meat two days a week, they would save 310kg of CO2 per year.

Reducing Food Waste at Home

Other than composting at home, there are other ways YOU can make a impact at home.

PLAN BEFORE YOU SHOP

weekly meal strategy to avoid food wastePlan your meals for the week, before you go shopping and make a list!

Put a little flexibility in your plans.

Once a week, I pick out recipes or decide what to have for the next 7 days.

I diversify our menu with different proteins.

One night each week is a roughage based salad – “salad night.”

Another night,  beans are the protein – “meatless night.”

For two of us, I have a main course, with one side.

 

SHOP YOUR PANTRY BEFORE YOU GO

Before you go grocery shopping, check out your refrigerator, cupboards and pantry to avoid buying food you already have.

LEARN WHAT FOOD DATES REALLY MEAN

know food product dates to avoid food wasteDon’t automatically throw away food because the date provided on the product.

 

WHILE SHOPPING

Choose loose fruit and vegetables over pre-packaged to better control the quantity you need and ensure fresher ingredients.

Try to avoid pre-cut fruits and vegetables. They tend to spoil more quickly. It will also save you money.

Don’t be tempted by sales. Buying in bulk only saves money if you can use the food before it spoils.  Good items to buy in bulk include grains, beans and pasta. – LIKE BARILLA! 

Ask the butcher to repackage meat if there is more than you need.

Use reusable shopping bags.

STORING WHAT YOU BUY PROPERLY

Learn where to store all the fruits and vegetables to keep them fresher longer.

GET MY FREE GUIDE TO FREEZING VEGETABLES CLICK HERE!

Separate fruit that is very ripe from others that are not.

Store bananas, apples and tomatoes by themselves – away from each other.

To avoid mold, wash berries and grapes before storing them in the refrigerator.


Use Barilla in this week’s recipe:

Pasta, Ham and Asparagus

This hearty pasta dish is rich and filling.  Use just a few ingredients to pack a punch.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword asparagus, easy recipe, ham, pasta
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author JoAnn's Food Bites

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. your favorite Barilla pasta
  • 2-1/2 ounces fresh asparagus trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 2 T. butter
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 3-4 ozs. cooked ham diced

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. Drop asparagus into pot in the last five minutes of cooking; drain.
  • While pasta is cooking, heat butter and cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When mixture begins to bubble, stir in Parmesan, garlic powder, and pepper Continue cooking until mixture thickens, stirring occasionally. Stir in ham just to heat through.
  • Toss cream sauce, ham and pasta together. Serve with bread.

LET’S WORK TOGETHER TO PREVENT FOOD WASTE!

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