Wasted Food a Major Contributor to Climate Change
from the Rev. Kevin McGrane,
Priest-in-Charge at Trinity Episcopal Church in St. James
and Creation Care Ministry Chair
40% of the food produced on the planet ends up in landfills, contributing to one-sixth of the methane gas effecting the environment, so says a report from Stanford University's "Earth Matters Magazine."
"Decaying in the landfill, the waste produces greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions from 23 million cars each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Half the gas that seeps out of landfills is methane, the same gas emitted by cows and natural gas. Methane, like carbon dioxide, warms the planet, but more potently, although it does not last as long. The EPA estimates that landfills released one-sixth of the country's methane emissions in 2016." (Standford University: When food waste becomes a pollutant.)
This does not take into consideration the amount of fossil oil used to produce and transport the foods for market, both in petrol to run the machines in the process and the oil-based pesticides and fertilizers to grow the foodstuffs
Reduction of food waste would have a significant impact on the climate crisis we are facing today. It is not surprising to note that 40% of the food in our own refrigerators also ends up in landfills. If we reduce our own food waste, we can help reduce the overall problem by our own actions. Here are five ways to reduce food waste in your home:
- Plan your meals. Instead of buying whatever is left on the shelves, try to buy only what you eat, and eat what you buy.
- Organize your fridge for success. Prep meals to utilize all your foods.
- Learn some new cooking skills. Us the same ingredients in the fridge for different meals.
- Start composting. Scraps make for great fertilizer in your gardens.
- Donate food, or prepare a meal for a neighbor.