Can I reduce food waste?


The clear answer is yes, I can reduce food waste. What is not so clear is how.

Meal planning and buying only what we need will help. I’ve been doing better at that. We have recently bought in on a ‘winter share’ from a local farm. We get a bounty of seasonal, locally grown produce once a month. While I’m still not too sure what to do with all the daikon radishes we keep getting, I’ve been using up just about everything else. Experimenting with new dishes and failing has led to a little bit more food waste, but it is prepping me for when the every other week summer share starts in May (I’m anticipating canning/jarring to be in my future…)

I also have an irregular schedule, so being able to plan to cook on weekends, create individual portions, and make good use of the freezer helps. I have yet to master this and end up creating some food waste as a result.

That’s all about reduction, the first step. Maximizing leftovers I count in the reduction category even though you could argue that is reuse. Reuse could also include making stocks from veg trimmings and meat bones.

Then what to do with the rest? We have a garbage disposal, which eliminates use of the bin for some stuff. And the next alternative would be compost. For some reason this relatively easy thing seems daunting to me. I’ll definitely need to get over my compost issues if I want to continue to slim my bin.


About Amy Marpman

Director of Recycling Services at Great Forest, Inc. in NYC. Continually finding the balance of idealism with the practical realities that make or break recycling programs.
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