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Dana Gunders’s Blog

Leftovers are Catching On

Dana Gunders

Posted March 21, 2012 in Living Sustainably

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The Wall Street Journal published a great piece today about leftovers—how much we create, how much we toss, how much it costs us, and how we can do better.  They even have a little cooking demo instructing on tasty meals to make with leftover ingredients that would fool your friends into believing you thought that gourmet offering up just for them.  This follows on the heels of a Reuters article last week called Clean your Plate, Save the World which covered the food waste issue from a global angle.  The good news in both cases?  This issue is catching on.

The WSJ author quotes Ziploc market research stating that 12% of refrigerator and freezer contents are leftovers.  Sadly, Ziploc’s information is more instructive than that of the USDA, where virtually no resources have been dedicated towards understanding just how much food is going to waste in this country.  But it’s still evidence that businesses are recognizing the opportunity in saving food.  She mentions other business efforts too—Rubbermaid now has a produce saver container and Betty Crocker is promoting their “Bottom of the Cereal Box” cookies. 

The grand goal of making our food system and food habits more efficient is in some ways age old, but in other ways just beginning.  With this, there is great opportunity for businesses to capitalize on the 40% of food in this country never eaten as well as easy ways for individuals to save

NRDC has been looking into food waste reduction for a while.  See our food waste fact sheet here, and stay tuned for a much more detailed report we expect to publish next month. In the meantime, get in that fridge and cook up a good meal for tonight.    

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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