3 Ways to Waste Less Food

By Jonny Waldman, Delicious Living

We’ve got an abundance of food; we just waste lots of it. U.S. residents throw away about 100 billion pounds of food every year (nearly 3,000 pounds per second), enough to feed 60 million people. At the same time, more than 35 million Americans are hungry or on the edge of hunger. These organizations are helping Americans waste less.

Next: Get help finding a food bank

Feeding America distributes food to 25 million people via 200 food banks across the country. You can help out by donating items to a food bank using the Food Bank Locator.

Next: Effortless food activism

Replate is street-level food activism: Leave unwanted leftovers on top of trash cans for the homeless. The trend started in San Francisco and is spreading–visit the Replate website for FAQs and posters to download.

Next: How rock stars wrap

Rock and Wrap It Up! collects leftover food from concerts, sporting events, and political rallies. So far, they’ve worked with 150 bands in 500 cities. They work with a national database of over 43,000 shelters and places of need. Since their inception in 1990, they have recovered over 70,000,000 pounds of food, feeding over 150,000,000 people.

Delicious Living is the go-to resource for the natural and organic lifestyle, helping readers eat well, live green, and stay healthy. Visit deliciouslivingmag.com for more articles and free recipes.


Ro H.
Ro H4 years ago


J.L. A.
JL A5 years ago

good to know and heighten awareness about

No Politics H.
Past Member 5 years ago

How wonderful that these ideas are finally put into practice in the USA. Other nations have done these types of things for a long time now.

Duane B.
.5 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Bon L.
Bon L7 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Jan C.
j C7 years ago

Our city has a number of programs that bring leftovers from restaurants (never served to customers!!) to shelters. There are very strict rules regarding this. Tho' many readers may not understand this, it is for the protection and safety of the homeless. As tempting as it might be, for example, to re-distribute bread left in a bowl on a table, how sanitary is it? Did dirty fingers handle it? What germs or viruses were on those hands? Did someone sneeze or cough on them? Had they fallen on the floor and been replaced to the basket?

People who are homeless come from all sorts of places, problems, and backgrounds. Some have mental illnesses, some have suffered loss and/or tragedy. Whatever the case, they all deserve dignity and respect. To leave your leftovers on a trash can...how long is it there till found? Has the food spoiled? Did you use clean hands, etc? Would you prefer food to be handed to you personally? Or would you rather be treated like a scavenging animal? Just because you may sadly witness an individual dumpster-digging, doesn't mean it's okay to treat them as lowly creatures.

Monica D.
Monica D8 years ago

Thank you for this interesting article. It is good to reduce the amount of food wasted and benefit people at the same time.

Myra B.
Myra B.8 years ago

There are many ways to help the hungry - my church has a food pantry, Salvation Army, Red Cross, World Vision to name a few. Just being aware of those who are doing without and doing what you can on a personal level will make a difference. There are also shelters for homeless men and women that always need donations. Also - it seems like when I give I have more. I like the idea of giving the takeout to a homeless person. I read about a person who made peanut butter sandwiches and passed them out which would have a much lower chance of spoiling and could be kept on hand in the car or tote bag.

Laurie T.
Laurie T8 years ago

As the old saying goes..you can feed them fish or you can teach them to fish. Although fixing the problems behind homelessness is a monumental job that touches so many factors, leaving food out for hungry homeless seems to be more of a loose loose answer. Just how long is this food sitting out for? If homeless get sick ingesting leftovers, will that not tax the medical system? What about addressing the root of the homeless problem? In the meantime, at least food banks are safer with their distribution of healthier foods.
Having gone from cooking daily for a large number of people, to only myself, I find it easy enough to make food for 4 (as an example) and divide the left overs, package properly, date and freeze them in good quality containers. This not only has reduced my food bill by over 70%, but when I don't feel like cooking from scratch, I simply check out my pre-cooked stash and re-heat, or micowave it. I have taken up par-boiling veggies from fresh, as I can't consume a head of (ei)broccoli before it becomes less than fresh. My frozen fresh veggies are treated the same as any store bought frozen veggies, and I don't waste food. There are many fruits that can be "tray" frozen then packaged and used in future for spreads, jam, toppings on other foods, etc.
One last comment...don't forget to include some treats when contributing to a food bank.

Adam H.
Adam H.8 years ago

It's all about portions. Around here, we got 9 people living here. As we started getting jobs, fixing our own meals, etc. my parents were on a huge learning curve. They were used to making a big pot of hambuger (3-5 lbs) , a whole package of spaghetti noodles, etc....well, when there's only 2-3 kids home (the rest work nights, or are gone, etc...) - that's a lot of leftovers ;)

So yea, they've moved on, now it's 1 LB, maybe HALF the pack of spaghetti noodles, etc ;) For pasta night. lol

Now when ma makes sloppy joes, or lasagna, there's no reduced portions there LOL - cause those are the leftovers that get eaten quick :)