Did you know about 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is never eaten? For every American, 200 pounds of perfectly edible food ends up in the trash each year — that’s enough waste to fill a football stadium every single day, according to Food Network’s The Big Waste, a food-waste special, which aired Sunday night.
The show brought to light just how much food America’s convenience stores, restaurants and supermarkets throw out every year: about 27 million tons. Chefs Bobby Flay, Michael Symon, Anne Burrell and Alex Guarnaschelli were given 48 hours to create a multi-course gourmet banquet using only food destined for the trash heap.
Scouring grocery aisles, produce farms, orchard lines and garbage piles on the streets of New York City, the chefs were astounded at the things people discarded.
From Food Network’s Facebook fans:
Kelly Woker Weiand said: Stop cooking for an army when there’s only three of us and freeze food in single-serving containers for future lunches when we’re not tired of the leftovers anymore.
Hungry Healthy Happy said: Collect all of the ends off veggies that I chop off and put them into a freezer bag in the freezer. When the bag is full, I will make a stock from them.
Steph Corvetto said: That show really opened my eyes. I will not be so picky while in the supermarket with my food. I learned a lot last night!
LaDella Thomas said: I watched the show with my eight-year-old and he was appalled at the waste. I plan to raise kids who have that kind of reaction to this problem.
Cheryl Gyles said: Buy less, “shop” from my freezer first.
From Food Network’s Twitter fans:
@bitesizedchef said: Fancy leftover night. Refurbish old dinners by combo-ing a few meals, like brisket with French onion soup as gravy.
@sarahpriv said: Pick one day of the week to go through the fridge and use up or freeze food that is close to going bad.
@maria_svgirl92 said: Make more recipes such as banana bread, bread pudding and applesauce where you can use old bread or bruised fruit.
@Lbartsch said: I’m going to pulverize the crushed tortilla chips that always accumulates at the bottom of the bag to crust fish before frying.
@MusselShack said: Freeze unused fresh herbs before they spoil.
@geekgirlinky said: I think that planning meals can help eliminate waste, that way you only have on hand what you know you will use.
“We’ve got to train ourselves to eat less than perfect peaches,” says Alex Guarnaschelli.