A while ago I started to become more aware of the amount of food I end up throwing away. While I usually make a reasonable effort to use up leftovers or freeze them for later, there was still enough food ending up in our trash to make me realize that I could certainly attempt to do better. I began searching for ways to make use of everything, and started organizing my refrigerator so that I was less likely to forget about something tucked away in the back.
As Americans, we throw away an astonishing 25% of our food. In an attempt to further reduce our monthly food bill and to minimize our waste, I have been focusing on preventing any of the food in the fridge from ending up in the garbage. Whenever I have to dump something, I see it as essentially throwing money away (as well as all the effort and resources that made that food possible). I really started making a determined effort to use up all the leftovers before going bad earlier last year, but have since revamped my endeavor. So far I have been able to stick to my goal of not throwing a large majority of food away (except fruit peels, eggshells, and the like – those will be composted). As we settle into our new house more I have refocused my goal to prevent any unnecessary waste.
Growing our own food has made an even bigger impact on the amount of produce we throw away. Something about the effort it takes to grow things influences me to use it up faster to prevent spoiling. The closer we get to our food sources, the more aware we become of the resources they require and the delicate balance that all life needs.
Some more information on food waste: