someone dumping good food into the kitchen trash

How to Reduce Food Waste

The Taste for Life Staff
This content originally appeared on 

Food is wasted in many ways, such as buying too much, making too much, and letting fresh food go bad.

By reducing food waste, we save money, reduce methane emissions coming from rotting food in landfills, and conserve resources that go into food production.

How You Can Reduce Food Waste

  • Eat What You Already Have

    Shop in your home before you head to the grocery store! Check inside your refrigerator and pantry and see if you can eat more of the food you already have.

  • Store Fresh Food Properly

    Research how to store different types of fruits and veggies so they stay fresher longer. For example, bananas and tomatoes emit natural gases that make nearby produce ripen faster. Store these items separately.

  • Make a Meal Plan

    Plan your weekly meals and make a list of exactly what you need at the store.

  • Freeze for Long-Term Storage

    Freeze extra food, such as bread, sliced fruit, or meats, to extend shelf life.

  • Start Composting

    Compost leftover fruit and vegetable waste.

  • Donate Canned Goods

    Donate extra canned goods to a food pantry or food drive.

  • Check the Label for Dates

    According to the United States Department of Agriculture, different food product labels help shoppers determine quality.

    Best if Used By/Before Date
    This indicates when a product will be of best flavor or quality. It is not a purchase or safety date.
    Sell-By Date
    This date tells the store how long to display the product for sale.
    "Use-By" Date
    This is the last date recommended for the use of the product while at peak quality.

Click to See Our Sources

"Food Product Dating," United States Department of Agriculture,

"Reducing Wasted Food at Home," US Environmental Protection Agency,

"Tips to Reduce Food Waste," US Food and Drug Administration,, 11/28/16