“Don’t waste money, don’t waste time, don’t waste food, don’t waste energy.” – Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Fruits and VegetablesYesterday on NPR, Ted Robbins interviewed Timothy Jones, an athropologist that suggests ways to stop wasting food. He says, “If you’re feeling guilty about all the food you ate on Thanksgiving, don’t dwell on it. Instead, Jones would like you to think of all the food you wasted!”

You can listen to the Morning Edition segment or I found a print version with some interesting stats at FoodNavigator.com. They report, “As the US celebrated Thanksgiving, a new study revealed that almost half the food in the country goes to waste.”

“On average, households waste 14 percent of their food purchases. Fifteen percent of that includes products still within their expiration date but never opened. Jones estimates an average family of four currently tosses out $590 per year, just in meat, fruits, vegetables and grain products.”

“Jones says that consumers better need to understand that many kinds of food can be refrigerated or frozen and eaten later. Nationwide, he says, household food waste alone adds up to $43 billion, making it a serious economic problem.”

“Cutting food waste would also go a long way toward reducing serious environmental problems. Jones estimates that reducing food waste by half could reduce adverse environmental impacts by 25 percent through reduced landfill use, soil depletion and applications of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides.”

In another interview, Jones says, “The best ways to cut the losses is for families to honestly examine what they actually eat, draw up menus and freeze leftovers so they don’t spoil before you can eat them.

In the NPR interview, Jones said that the real culprit is fruit and vegetables. Another article describes it as: “health-conscious purchases of quick-to-spoil fruits and vegetables.” Typically, people buy these on the weekends (trying to be healthy eaters), but as the week continues on, they end up eating other things and by Friday, poof, the fruit and vegetables have spoiled.

Here’s a food site packed with useful tips about how to use and prepare produce. You’ll save a little money and do your part in helping to sustain our planet.