Despite a higher profile in recent years, the issue of food waste remains a massive global problem.
According to Feeding America, the United State’s network of food banks, an estimated 25 to 40 percent of food grown, processed, and transported in the U.S. will never be consumed.
There are multiple streams of food waste, including grocery stores, restaurants, other businesses, and home kitchens. Many well-intentioned home cooks want to make a difference but lack the tools to make adequate tools. Enter the “Waste Free Kitchen Handbook: A Guide to Eating Well and Saving Money By Wasting Less Food,” a new handbook for managing food waste in your home. Packed with engaging checklists, simple recipes, practical strategies, and educational infographics, this resource will turn the average home cook into a direct action food activist.
Dana Gunders, the brainchild behind this ultimate organization and how-to tool for eliminating food waste is a scientist by day at the Natural Resources Defense Council. She has compiled an excellent collection of everyday techniques for changing up your kitchen habits. From changing the way you do your food shopping and learning to use a refrigerator properly to simple preservation methods that include freezing, pickling, and using food scraps, this handbook takes the guesswork out of how you can take a bite out of the food waste problem. Many of the techniques aren’t complicated, but they just fall into the realm of knowledge that most Americans haven’t felt required to know since the age of packaged foods came along.
The “Waste Free Kitchen Handbook” qualifies as good to read straight through and as a handy go-to reference. Keep it on the shelf with your cookbooks, so the helpful facts and tips like the 20 “use-it-up” recipes are at your fingertips. It’s arranged into three easy to understand sections that include strategies for everyday life, recipes, and a resource directory featuring various foods from fruits and veggies to meat and dairy.
Dana Gunders is a project scientist working on food and agriculture issues with the Natural Resources Defense Council. Through her work at the NRDC, she was one of the first to bring to light just how much food is wasted across the country through her 2012 report “Wasted: How America is Losing Up to 40% of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill.”
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Waste Free Handbook Image via Dana Gunders
Food Waste Image via Shutterstock