SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — About forty percent of food produced in the United States is wasted, according to the National Resource Defense Council.
“I can definitely see that people overbuy vegetables, put them in their vegetable drawer, go away then come back three weeks later and they’re brown they throw them away,” explained Springfield dietitian Donna Webb.
The 40 percent number equals about 63 million tons of food wasted a year. To get even more specific, picture about 400 pounds of food thrown away per person.
Some say that this waste could be harmful for the environment and will build up in landfills, creating methane.
Webb says the problem is that people don’t know how much food to purchase for the amount they actually eat.
“If people would be more mindful about knowing what they’re actually going to use for the week, and do any kind of menu planning, that’s probably the biggest part that we’re missing,” said Webb. “It starts in the kitchen– thinking through your week, what your meals are going to look like, opening up your freezer, seeing what you already have. I think that is a giant part of waste, is that we don’t do that inventory of our kitchen before we go to the grocery store.”
Webb suggests purchasing individually washed, cut and wrapped produce and to avoid buying in bulk to cut down on waste.