Celebrating California's First Food Waste Prevention Week

CalRecycle has partnered with the Public Health Alliance of Southern California and other state organizations to celebrate March 5-9, 2018, as California’s first Food Waste Prevention Week. As CalRecycle’s Executive Fellow, I have been working on projects related to edible food waste reduction. As a trained restaurant cook, I utilize many techniques and strategies to reduce food waste at home. Incorporating a few simple food waste prevention actions—such as freezing food, meal prepping and using leftovers—can immediately reduce food waste.

Though I am new to the world of waste management policy, I have a lifelong dedication to environmental conservation and sustainable practices. In my prior career, before attending college, I worked in restaurants as a line cook for almost a decade. My background in professional kitchens instilled a passion for food waste prevention and reduction. 

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Californians throw away nearly 12 billion pounds of food each year, which comprises about 18 percent of all the material in landfills. On average, a family of four pays about $1,500 toward 1,000 pounds of food ultimately thrown in the trash every year. Besides the environmental and fiscal consequences of food waste, Californians frequently dispose of food while others in our state go without. According to 2014 data, 5.4 million Californians are food-insecure, meaning they are uncertain of where their next meal will come from. Additionally, 1 in 4 children in California don’t have enough food to eat.

Food Waste Prevention week aims to raise awareness about the impacts of food waste in our homes, workplaces, and communities. During Food Waste Prevention Week, I plan to share simple ways to reduce food waste at home. 

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Stay tuned next week for resources, tips, and ideas. To learn more, please visit Save The Food, a national campaign led by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Ad Council to raise awareness about food waste and inspire more people to reduce it. Interested in other ways to reduce food waste? Check out the Public Health Alliance of Southern California’s Resource Library and CalRecycle’s Resource Directory.

— Allegra Curiel
Posted on Mar 1, 2018

Summary: Incorporating a few simple food waste prevention actions—such as freezing food, meal prepping and using leftovers—can immediately reduce food waste.