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I doubt many of us intentionally waste food. We are all aware of just how serious the global hunger issue is, and would never want to make an already unacceptable situation even worse.

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But I’m also sure that the majority of us unconsciously waste food regularly. Don’t believe me? Think of how often things that you buy go bad or pass their expiry date before you are able to get around to preparing them. Also think about how often you casually shovel the “scraps” on your plate into the garbage once you’ve finished eating.

Still think you aren’t a part of the problem?

The numbers certainly suggest that we all are, as approximately 222 million tonnes of food are wasted annually at the consumer level in developed countries — an already scary number that becomes even more staggering when you take into consideration that all of sub-Saharan Africa combines to produce just 7 million tonnes more than that amount per year. (source)

Whether or not you specifically are a major contributor to this issue, and I applaud you if you are not, we could all benefit from a reduction in our food waste contribution.

The Cookbook To Conquer Food Waste

A powerful tool to help us all do our part is The Waste Not, Want Not Cookbook: Save Food, Save Money and Save the Planet. As the title implies, the book is a comprehensive guide to making us all better shoppers and chefs by getting the most out of everything we purchase.

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Written by Cinda Chavich, the book is more than just an ordinary cooking manual, as it also opens by exploring the state of food waste today and why it’s essential we all do our part in mitigating it.

Beyond that, the recipes themselves are also of the highest variety, as Cinda has a wealth of experience in the culinary world. Her previous publications include 225 Best Pressure Cooker RecipesThe Guy Can’t Cook: Over 350 Fantastic No-fail Recipes a Guy Can’t Be Without, and The Girl Can’t Cook: 275 Fabulous No-Fail Recipes a Girl Can’t Be Without.

What I particularly appreciate about the cookbook is that it offers food waste conquering tips and recipes for people of all dietary needs and preferences. As someone who has spent time as a vegan, vegetarian, and pescatarian in the last 5 years alone, I like a book that can continue to be of value to me through thick and thin.

Two Masters Of Consumption

To further motivate you to join me in the effort to reduce food waste, I’d also like to briefly share the story of two inspiring individuals who have gone beyond the call of duty in minimizing their personal impact.

The first is Lauren Singer, a young woman who has gone several years without producing any garbage. The accomplishment was a gradual process that has allowed Lauren to not only save money, but eat better and feel happier, too.  Read all of Lauren’s story here.

The second is dumpster diver extraordinaire William Reid, who manages to eat well at the beyond-remarkable cost of only $2.75 annually. The term dumpster diving certainly sounds unpleasant to most, but William claims to have never gotten sick from finding and eating food in this way. Read all of William’s story here.

While I don’t think that zero waste or dumpster diving are in the immediate future for most of us, I do believe that becoming more conscious of our waste production is something we can all easily start today. Even if you aren’t motivated by the idea of creating a more balanced and sustainable world, I’m sure we can all get behind the idea of saving a little money by making the most out of what we buy.

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