The Office of Solid Waste Reduction and Recycling’s Don’t Waste Food SC (DWFSC) campaign is hosting an inaugural SC Food Waste Prevention Week (FWPW) April 4-8. The main purpose of the week is to continue to increase awareness of the damaging economic, environmental, and social impacts of wasted food in South Carolina as well as to provide all South Carolinians with tools to help prevent wasted food.
“The sustainable management of food is essential,” said Myra Reece, DHEC Director of Environmental Affairs. “Prevention and donation to help feed those in need are the key first steps. In South Carolina, one in nine residents are food insecure, including one in seven children. If everyone does their part, this problem can be solved.”
Food remains the number one item thrown away by Americans – and South Carolinians – each year. In fiscal year 2021 (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021), South Carolina generated over 1,062,000 tons of food waste. Wasted food squanders the land, water, energy, labor, and other resources used to produce, package, and move food from farm to plate.
Tips to Reduce Food Waste
Most food waste occurs at home, which is why DWFSC focuses on tools to equip residents to prevent wasted food and to donate anything extra they create.
You can take several steps to contribute to FWPW and help reduce the amount of food waste that’s generated at home, including: · Plan your meals. Use what you have at home first. Meal Planner · Shop smart. Make a list, stick to it. Printable Shopping List
· Prep smart and store smart. Prepare perishable food soon after shopping or meal prep. Freeze items to keep fresh. Do the FIFO: first in, first out. Keep produce in its proper place. Fruit and Vegetable Storage Info
· Don’t be confused by date labels. Food doesn’t immediately spoil on the package date. Product Dating Info
· Love your leftovers. If dining out, take your leftovers home. Get creative and make new meals with leftovers.
· Buy directly from local farmers and markets. You’ll get fresher food and keep your dollars in the community. Where to Buy Local in SC · Donate non-perishable items. Feed your neighbors, not the landfill. Feeding the Carolinas Foodbanks
When You Can’t Save, Compost
It is important to note that no matter what measures we take to prevent wasted food, some waste is unavoidable. Food waste shouldn’t go in the garbage – it should be composted. Composting Info
Follow @dontwastefoodsc on Instagram and Facebook for FWPW content and additional resources. To learn more about Don’t Waste Food SC, visit http://www.scdhec.gov/dwfsc.