Eliminating Food Waste - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Eliminating Food Waste

The Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency, have joined forces to cut back on the billions of pounds of foods tossed in the garbage every year, by retailers, restaurants and homes. Now, they're offering tips that can also help people save money.

American's throw away almost four-hundred dollars worth of food every year, which is more than a third of what they buy and it's piling up in landfills. E.P.A Officials said, the decomposing food is creating greenhouse gases, that may contribute to global warming.

"There are about 35 to 40 million or 35-40 percent of the total food supply is thrown away each year," said Mark McKethan, Executive Director for the Wichita Falls Food Bank.

The Department of Agriculture said, they will work with companies to make it easier to donate their misbranded meat and poultry, test out a meat composting program, and increase donations of food that gets tossed because of it's appearance.

McKethan said donations could help the unrecognized hunger issue in Texoma. "In our service area of 12 counties, there are about 40 thousand people who are food insecure. 13-thousand are children or about one-in-four children in this area are food insecure," said McKethan.

A good tip, is to pay closer attention to dates, as many people have a spoiled milk mindset. "the date that they see is not necessarily a throw away date. And if they're not comfortable eating it, donate it to the food bank, we have contact with the manufacturers." said McKethan.

"I throw it out and I know it's wasteful but it's just too dangerous with kiddos...I'll start paying attention to the best by or use by," said one woman shopping with her three boys.

The E.P.A. Recommends consumers cook what they already have at home before buying food, plan menu's to cut down on unwanted ingredients, and compost leftovers.

"Portion control is something that could reduce the amount of food thrown away each year. Some impulse buying, thinking I'm gonna eat this or I'm gonna cook this and then the food is never eaten or cooked and it just goes to waste in the refrigerator," said McKethan.

Donations to the Wichita Falls Food Bank can be made between 8:00am-5:00pm, Monday through Friday. Canned goods and cash donations are preferred. Donating cuts down on food thrown away. Food waste is the single largest type of waste entering American landfills.

Jenyne Donaldson, Newschannel Six.

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