Weekend food waste roundup – 7 October 2012

This week’s roundup has a tips on preserving food (including using etheylene absorbers to prolong the shelf life of produce) and reducing waste (including an article on reducing Thanksgiving waste – timely, if you happen to be Canadian), as well as a couple of articles about the issue of food waste.

Tips for preserving food and reducing waste

How to Absorb Ethylene Gas | eHow.com

Budget Tip: How To Vacuum Seal Food Without a Vacuum Sealing Machine | The Kitchn

Save Your Food: Canning and Freezing 101 – Earth911.com

Cooked Apple Recipes Great for Fall, Baked Apples, Apple Crisp and More – AARP

7 ways to reduce household food waste –  News – MSN CA

Tips from the pros on cutting Thanksgiving waste – The Globe and Mail

More on food waste

UN Says Europe Wastes 50% Of Fruit And Vegetables — And America Isn’t Much Better – Forbes

Radio Prague – Study maps makeup of Czech household waste

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222 million tons

222 million tons — according to a 2011 UN study, that’s how much food consumers and retailers in industrialized nations waste every year, mostly by throwing away perfectly edible food. Just to put that number in perspective: it’s almost equivalent to the net food production in sub-Saharan Africa, and area about two and a half times the size of the United States.

It’s huge.

If you’re the average North American or European consumer, you throw away between 210 and 250 pounds of food each year (if you want to picture that better, 250 pounds is the weight of 1000 Quarter Pounder™ meat patties before they’re cooked — or the weight of over 1300 cooked patties). If you’re the average North American or European consumer, you can do better.

Our neighbors in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and South-East Asia waste less than 10% as much as we do, throwing away an average of 13 to 24 pounds of food a year. That seems like a good target. And helping people reach that target is what this blog, and the 222 Million Ton project, are all about.

In this blog, we will share tips and tools that can help people adopt more sustainable practices, and hopefully spark conversations that will lead us in directions that we haven’t anticipated, and that our team and our readers can learn from.