September’s easy zero to low cost ways to be environmentally conscious at your home or apartment
200 billion pounds of food, up to 40% of food in the United States, is wasted annually. That’s enough food to fill the 90,000 seat Rose Bowl Stadium every day. The average American wastes about $1,600 of fruits and vegetables a year. Globally, close to 12 billion animals are wasted by households each year. 30% of the food thrown away in the U.S. each year is meat, poultry, and fish.
Interestingly, in 1900 two-thirds of the protein eaten was from plants. By 1985, two-thirds of protein eaten came from animals, primarily cattle. Plants take less water and resources, in general, to produce than meat and can be protein rich.
What can each of us do to spend less money, be environmentally conscious when we eat, and reduce food waste?
- Adjust your diet to include more protein derived from plants instead of animal protein. Additionally, when you do eat animal products, opt for farmed seafood with a moderate amount of poultry and eggs to reduce your environmental footprint. It takes 1,799 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef while it only takes 216 gallons of water to produce one pound of soybeans or 108 gallons of water to produce one pound of corn.
- Be creative and adopt a root-to-leaf mentality when cooking. Whether it be carrot greens, orange rind, potato peels, or other often thrown away items, there are ways to make them delicious. Some easy ways to incorporate food scraps are by making soups, sauces, or pickling them. Follow these recipes to use every part of the vegetables and fruit you buy and reduce waste when cooking.
- On average, food travels 1,500 miles to get from the farm to your plate. Buy locally, whenever possible. Did you know that you could regrow vegetables? Regrow vegetables and fruits you use often to both decrease food costs and reduce the distance your food travels to get to your plate. Some easy to regrow vegetables and herbs include scallions, romaine lettuce, carrots, and basil. Find instructions on how to regrow these and other fruit and vegetables here and here.
“It’s easy to forget, leaves and stalks are parts of a vegetable, not obstacles to it” Tamar Adler
Every day is Earth Day at WexEnergy!