OAKLAND, Calif., Oct. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Food waste is a global issue that affects the environment, economy and food security. This holds true right here in the US, where American families throw out 25 percent of the food they buy – that's roughly the equivalent of $1,500 wasted each year. Knowing Sunday is the day many people plan, shop and prep food and meals for the week, Glad® Food Protection is partnering with Food Network personality Alex Guarnaschelli to launch the #SAVEITSUNDAY movement at the New York City Wine & Food Festival, promoting Sunday as a key time to focus on helping end food waste at home.
"As a chef, I'm extremely conscious about food waste in my own kitchen, and that's why I'm thrilled to partner with Glad Food Protection to influence change in kitchens across America through the #SAVEITSUNDAY campaign," said Alex Guarnaschelli who participated in Food Network's "The Big Waste" special and serves as a judge on "Chopped." "Not only will we be raising awareness of the impact of food waste and giving tips to help end it, but we'll also be doing some good -- 100 percent of the festival proceeds go directly to hunger-relief programs."
Underscoring the Issue: Fridge to Fork Report
In an effort to better understand Americans' perceptions of food waste and shape the #SAVEITSUNDAY movement, Glad Food Protection commissioned a Fridge to Fork report, which revealed the realities of the issue. On one hand, there exists a perception of consciousness and planning around grocery shopping. In fact, most Americans (65 percent) take stock of their home inventory before visiting the grocery store, and the majority of Americans (87 percent) say they are taking steps to preserve their purchases when they return home.
But, despite the reported effort, food waste is a reality and a frequent occurrence with two-thirds of Americans (67 percent) throwing away food weekly or more frequently, which most commonly includes leftovers but also typical grocery items. For instance, fruits and vegetables (38 percent), dairy products (29 percent) and bread (29 percent) are the most likely offenders to make it from the fridge to the trash bin. In fact, nearly half of Americans (44 percent) have found an item in their fridge in the past month that they didn't realize was there.
Furthermore, Americans realize that throwing away so much food has negative impacts, but many don't understand the extent of the damage. More than half (57 percent) recognize that the majority of food waste ends up in landfills, but just 16 percent of Americans link preventing food waste with significant environmental impact. And the environmental damage runs deep: food now represents the single largest component of municipal solid waste reaching landfills where it gradually converts to methane, a greenhouse gas at least 25 times more powerful in global warming as carbon dioxide.
Even with this lack of awareness of the environmental impacts, Americans still feel guilty about wasting food. Many people (46 percent) feel the guiltiest related to discarding their foodstuffs given other people could have consumed it; while, nearly one third (32 percent) feel badly about the financial loss for their household when pitching food into the trash bin. The good news: realizing the possibility to reduce waste, Americans are willing to try a variety of methods. Most notably, nearly all of those surveyed (93 percent) are willing to consider storing food properly with wrap, bags or containers.
Helping to Provide a Solution: #SAVEITSUNDAY
Glad Food Protection recognizes the role its products play in storing and protecting food and is on a mission to do its part to help consumers protect the food they buy, the day they buy it. With the right preparation and protection on shopping day, the food they love could stay fresher, longer. As Guarnaschelli can attest, one of the most important steps Americans can take in an effort to reduce food waste is prepping ingredients properly right from the start. For example, when storing brussels sprouts, it's important not to peel or trim them prior to placing them in a bowl, covering them with Glad ClingWrap and poking a few holes in the wrap to let in a bit of air before placing in the refrigerator. Other tips include planning meals ahead and using up all leftovers.
"It's essential to make sure you have proper kitchen tools for food storage like cling wrap, bags and containers because they help keep food fresher longer," said Guarnaschelli. "I'm excited to share my delicious Penne with Butternut Squash Sauce and Squash Caponata and demonstrate how to make the seasonal ingredients last longer at the La Sagra Sunday Slices event."
Find more food preparation and protection tips on SaveitSunday.com where you can take the #SAVEITSUNDAY pledge and check out other ideas to help trim food waste at home. Consumers can pledge and be entered for the chance to win a meal for eight friends cooked in their home by a personal chef. Follow @getglad on Twitter for more information.
The GLAD Products Company
The GLAD Products Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Clorox Company. The Clorox Company is a leading multinational manufacturer and marketer of consumer and professional products with approximately 8,400 employees and fiscal year 2013 revenues of $5.6 billion. Clorox markets some of the most trusted and recognized brand names, including its namesake bleach and cleaning products, Clorox Healthcare™, HealthLink®, Aplicare® and Dispatch® products, Green Works® naturally derived products, Pine-Sol® cleaners, Poett® home care products, Fresh Step® cat litter, Glad® bags, wraps and containers, Kingsford® charcoal, Hidden Valley® and KC Masterpiece® dressings and sauces, Brita® water-filtration products, and Burt's Bees® and gud® natural personal care products. Nearly 90 percent of the company's brands hold the No. 1 or No. 2 market share positions in their categories. Clorox's commitment to corporate responsibility includes making a positive difference in its communities. In fiscal year 2013, The Clorox Company Foundation awarded $4.1 million in cash grants, and Clorox made product donations valued at nearly $10 million. For more information, visit www.TheCloroxCompany.com.
National Resources Defense Council, Wasted: How America Is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill, 2012.
Telephone survey of 1,000 American adults utilizing landline and cell phone exchanges fielded Aug. 23-28, 2013; conducted by KRC Research for Glad Food Protection.
SOURCE The GLAD Products Company