Sunday, April 19, 2009

Heifer International

Neil and I like to give gifts of animals from Heifer International when we have a special wedding or birthday to go to. Seems like in most cases we all already have enough stuff and giving the gift of an animal to a poor family or village somewhere in the world in honor of someone's celebration does more good than a toaster oven ever could (not that I have anything against toaster ovens, I'm just saying...). In addition to all their good works they also publish a magazine called World Ark. Paging through a recent issue I saw a list titled: "Waste Not" and wanted to share it with you.

A recent study from the Stockholm International Water Institute estimates that as much as 50 percent of our food supply is wasted, as they put it,"from field to fork." Inefficiencies in production and distribution add up to substantial losses. And wasted food, they point out, equals wasted water, as food production is "the largest human uses of water." Fight food waste on your end with simple strategies:

Plan meals so that leftovers can be transformed into the next night's meal.

Buy in bulk only if the food is unlikely to go bad over time.

Make less then you think you'll need, not more.

Clean out the fridge and cupboards regularly to avoid buying more then you need.*(I particularly need to pay heed to this one. I'm really terrible at it.)

When all else fails. give your food back to the earth - turn your scraps into compost. (Admittedly harder to compost in an apartment. I did it for a while, but the smell and fruit flies drove me crazy, in part because I waited too long to get rid of it and needed a better container. Soon I will make another stab at it!)

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