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Organic Consumers Association

27 Ways to Make Your Groceries Last

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Health Issues page, Genetic Engineering page and our All about Organics page

 If you're like the average American, you waste more than 20 pounds of food every month. This is because 40 percent of the food in the US goes uneaten - that's almost half.

 While some of this food is lost during production and processing (such as produce that goes bad before it's harvested), a significant amount is wasted in people's homes simply because it goes bad before it's eaten.

Wasted Food Costs US Families Thousands of Dollars a Year

 Not only does this amount to more than $2,000 in annual losses for the average US household of four, but all of that wasted food uses up precious stores of freshwater - about 25 percent of freshwater use is wasted on food that's not even eaten!

 Plus, this "throw-away" food takes up land space to grow it (which is then doused with chemicals) and generates increased methane gas emissions in landfills when it sits and starts rotting  it's a massive unnecessary waste on all fronts.

 Of course, you probably don't set out to waste food. But if you purchase fresh produce in larger quantities -- a must if you like to eat healthily but don't have time to run to the market every day -- it can be difficult to use it up before it goes bad.

 Not surprisingly, these types of healthy fresh foods are the foods most likely to be wasted. For instance, more fruits and vegetables are wasted in the U.S. food system than are actually consumed (52% are wasted versus 48% consumed).2

 The good news is that there are many tricks you can use to extend the "shelf-life" of your fresh foods; you don't need to resign yourself to frozen or canned alternatives!


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