HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Forty percent of all food produced in America is discarded and 20 percent of all food bought is never eaten.
The effects of food waste are staggering – on the economy, it equates to about $218 billion of food lost each year; on the environment, food waste is the number one component found in America's landfills; and on American families, each of us tosses approximately 300 pounds of food a year, adding up to as much as $2,200 worth of uneaten food that a family of four throws away.
And between Thanksgiving and New Year's, three times as much food is wasted as at other times of the year! It is estimated that about 204 million pounds of turkey meat will get thrown away over this Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S.
The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) suggests that frozen foods can be part of the solution to turning around the consumer food-waste trend and offers some specific tips for the upcoming holidays.
Frozen Foods to the Rescue
Frozen foods can help solve the food waste problem and save the average family money [Infographic] while also providing convenience, quality, innovative tastes and ease in food preparation.
Frozen foods – a good investment:
- You are paying for 100 percent edible food.
- Freezing technology and eco-friendly packaging are keeping frozen foods fresher longer.
- There is no spoilage – use only what you need and put the rest back in the freezer.
- Frozen foods are perfectly portioned – no waste.
- Frozen fruits and vegetables are consistently priced and always in season.
- Storing food in the freezer provides a much longer shelf life and less waste.
Consider that fruits and vegetables are picked at the peak of ripeness and flash frozen, sometimes right on the field, to lock in beneficial nutrients and keep them in their perfect, just-picked state. Similarly, most fish is frozen right on the boat so there's no chance for decline in quality, nutrition and freshness.
Much of what you will find in the frozen food aisles today has been developed and prepared by expert chefs in test kitchens across the country – using real ingredients and rigorously evaluated by nutritionists and dietitians. Frozen food is real food – just frozen!
Tips for Reducing Waste over the Holidays
- Be realistic: The fear of not providing enough to eat often causes hosts to cook too much. Instead, plan out how much food you and your guests will realistically need, and shop accordingly.
- Plan ahead: Plan your menu and create a shopping list before going to the grocery store to avoid impulse buys or buying unnecessary quantities that may not be used right away and go to waste.
- Know portion sizes: If turkey is on your menu, allow 1 pound of uncooked turkey per person from an 8 to 12 pound turkey. Larger birds have a larger proportion of meat to bones, so ¾ pound per person should be sufficient (and you will have leftovers).
- Plan for leftovers: Cook creatively and repurpose food into other meals for less waste after the holiday. Check out recipes like Easy Leftover Turkey Pot Pie on EasyHomeMeals.com.
During this holiday season, try being more conscious about what you're buying, cooking and eating. All of us making mindful decisions to reduce food waste can have a significant impact on our environment for the future.
Sources: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Defense Council, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Worldwatch Institute
About National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA)
NFRA is a non-profit trade association representing all segments of the frozen and refrigerated foods industry. NFRA sponsors national promotions March Frozen Food Month, June Dairy Month and June/July Ice Cream & Novelties; and provides consumer information such as food safety guidelines, meal preparation tips, recipes and sweepstakes opportunities through its Easy Home Meals consumer website and social media properties.
SOURCE National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association