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This National Nutrition Month, "Go Further with Food" with help from Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital

March is National Nutrition Month! This year’s theme is “Go Further with Food.” According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), about 30 to 40 percent of food in the United States is wasted. In 2010 this was estimated to be worth $161 billion!

Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital’s Allie Lang, RD, LDN, says, “Food waste is the largest component of landfills and the third largest source of methane, a pollutant and greenhouse gas which contributes to global warming. By reducing your waste, you can save money, reduce your carbon footprint and conserve resources for future generations.”

As a registered dietitian, Lang says there are some simple things you can do to reduce food waste:

  • Plan ahead: Making a weekly list of food items you need for your household will save you time and money at the supermarket. Think of what meals you want to make for the week and focus on this when making your list. Consider what quantities you will need to avoid buying too much food and avoid buying items that spoil quickly in bulk.
  • Store smart: Consider how long items last in the refrigerator. If you know you won’t use produce this week, freeze it to avoid it spoiling before it’s eaten. Store bananas, tomatoes and apples by themselves as these can make other produce spoil faster.
  • Think about prep time: It may seem like you’ll be able to prepare five gourmet meals at the beginning of the week but if your busy schedule won’t allow it, be realistic. Prepare, chop and store foods ahead of time for busy nights.
  • Don’t over-serve: When cooking for friends and family, don’t pile their plates high with restaurant-sized portions. Using smaller plates can help with this!
  • First in, first out: To avoid food spoiling in your fridge, move older food to the front of the fridge so you utilize it before it goes bad.

By following these simple tips, we can all help reduce our environmental impact and save money! Together we can all “Go Further with Food.”

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