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Reducing Food Waste: Recovering Untapped Resources in Our Food System | Los Angeles Area Food Recovery Guide | Principle Authors: Iesha Siler – Los Angeles Food Policy Council, Amardeep Gill – Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, Amy Hammes -City of Burbank Recycling Center
Make personal choices to reduce your own food waste, with these suggestions by Alyson Schill, member of the LA Food Policy Council’s Food Recovery working group:
1. Purchase right.
If you’re at a restaurant and they have a side that you know you don’t want, simply ask them to not include the side. When you’re at the grocery store, calculate how much food you’ll eat before it goes bad, and prioritize eating that food first. If you’re a restaurant, use platforms like Mint Scraps to calculate what food you’re purchasing and wasting, minimize costs and maximize profits while lowering the amount of food you waste.
2. Donate leftovers to local nonprofits.
Use the ReFeed America website and app to find your nearest charity that can accept the type of food you have. For prepared food that has been exposed to the public and cannot be donated: share it with friends, coworkers, freeze it and eat it later, or give it to your elderly neighbor that has trouble cooking.
3. Compost the spoiled food you can’t eat.
Several cities have free or reduced backyard compost bins and classes on how to use them. Fill your garden with black gold from finished compost. Get a small vermicomposting (worm) bin for your house and feed them like pets. Some waste haulers are starting to slowly roll out food scrap pickup for business and multi-family apartment buildings, and it usually costs the same or less than the cost to landfill the same quantity of material. Support organizations like Kiss the Ground and LA Compost who are setting up community compost education and compost sites.