Among the many ways Trump has shattered White House norms, his impulsive public communications rank among the most consequential. By inspiring investors or spooking them, his...Politicsread more
A federal judge in New York City on Wednesday said Deutsche Bank and Capital One can turn over financial documents related to President Donald Trump and his businesses in...Politicsread more
CNEX, backed by Microsoft and Dell, filed new allegations in a Texas suit accusing China's Huawei and an executive of trade secrets theft.Technologyread more
With Amazon and Walmart facing regulatory hurdles in India, Reliance's Mukesh Ambani isTechnologyread more
Japan's Panasonic said on Thursday it has stopped shipments of certain components to Huawei Technologies to comply with U.S. restrictions on the Chinese company.Technologyread more
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC on Wednesday that a trip to Beijing to resume trade negotiations has not been scheduled yet, reducing hopes of a speedy resolution...Asia Marketsread more
Research analyst Adam Jonas, a long-time Tesla bull, said it's extremely unlikely that big tech firms like Apple or Amazon would buy it.Technologyread more
The disclosures come as a federal judge ruled Wednesday that two other banks — Deutsche Bank and Capital One — can give financial documents to Congress, NBC News reports.Politicsread more
Shares of L Brands, the owner of Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works, rose nearly 11% in aftermarket trading Wednesday after the company reported it beat revenue and...Retailread more
Officials remained firmly committed to a "patient" policy stance at their meeting earlier this month.The Fedread more
The president may have more success in the court fights to come, including appeals in the cases decided this week. But the two losses are nonetheless a dramatic setback for...Politicsread more
Can you afford to throw away $2,000 a year? If you are the average American, the answer is, apparently, yes—and you may not even be aware of it.
Americans throw away approximately $165 billion worth of food each year, and for the average American family, that can be up to $2,200 per household, according to a recent study by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
That all adds up to 35 million tons of food each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency in its most recent estimate. That's 50 percent more than in 1990 and three times more of what Americans discarded in 1960. That's a sad statistic, considering hunger in America. According to Feeding America, right now 1 in 7 Americans—or 46.5 million people—use food banks.
It's a costly trend. "The amount of food Americans waste has increased over 50 percent in the last four decades, one contributor to the staggering 40 percent of all food which goes to waste in this country," according to an excerpt from the soon-to-be-released book "The Waste-Free Kitchen Handbook" by NRDC staff scientist Dana Gunders.
The runaway portion sizes in the American food industry exacerbate the waste issue.
"From 1982–2002, the average pizza slice grew 70 percent in calories. The average chicken Caesar salad doubled in calories, and the average chocolate chip cookie quadrupled," revealed the NRDC study.
"This is a cultural phenomenon that needs to change. Before the iconic anti-littering campaigns of the 1970s, littering was a common practice," said JoAnne Berkenkamp, senior advocate for food & agriculture at the NRDC. "Today it isn't acceptable to throw your leftover cheeseburger out the window of your car, but most of us don't think twice about throwing it in the trash."
Much of household waste is due to overpurchasing, food spoilage and not maximizing the way we use the food we purchase.
The NRDC study cites three key ways to tackle consumer waste.
1. Make a shopping list.
This first step might seem relatively simple. However, the average family wastes about 20 percent of their groceries, according to the NRDC. That's because people impulse-buy at the supermarkets, giving in to the psychological tactics stores use to encourage consumers to shop more, such as strategically placing products at the ends of the aisles or offering product samples. But if you stick to your list, the savings can be big.
2. Don't put too much stock in the expiration date.
There is a great deal of confusion about expiration dates, and contrary to popular belief, most dates aren't statements about food safety.
There are two kinds of dates that commonly appear on food products. A "sell by" date is intended to be a message from the food manufacturer to the retailer so the store knows how long to display an item. It indicates that the product will still have significant shelf life once it reaches a consumer's home. "Best by" dates refer to quality, not safety, and signifies best flavor or peak freshness. A product will still be edible for several days afterward.
Unfortunately, due to the lack of federal regulation about date labeling and confusion among consumers, many retailers and consumers throw food out on or before the date on the package, no matter what the date was intended to mean. "This contributes to enormous food losses at home and in the store," Berkenkamp said. "The best bet for consumers is to use your own judgment about whether the food in your fridge is still good. And if you think you can't use it up soon enough, pop it in your freezer rather than throwing it out," she said.
3. Learn from the top chefs—they don't waste.
Consumers need to start thinking like chefs. Restaurant chefs try not to waste any food, because they know better than anyone else that food is money. They use every part of the fare, from stalk to stem; no ounce goes to waste.
"Chefs do this every day in their kitchens, using culinary technique to transform 'lowly' ingredients into something delicious because it doesn't make sense—economically or ecologically—to throw them out," said Dan Barber, co-owner and executive chef at Blue Hill Farm and a leader in the sustainable food movement. "That's the real power of good cooking, and it's at the root of the world's great peasant cuisines."
—By Lauren Flick, CNBC producer