Local challenge to reduce wasted food will kick off on May 14
In the United States, 40% of food we are growing, raising and cooking ends up going to waste. In an effort to increase awareness around the poignant issue of wasted food, the Rethink Waste Project, a program of The Environmental Center, is searching for residents of Deschutes County to take the Rethink Food Waste Challenge.
Food is wasted throughout the chain: at the farm, in transport, at grocery stores and other distributors, at restaurants, and at the household level. The Challenge will focus on the household level where 25 percent of what people buy ends up not getting eaten and being tossed.
One in eight Americans does not have access to enough food, yet the average family of four spends $130 per month on food they throw away. 135 million tons of greenhouse gases are produced from wasted food. With food waste education, the Rethink Food Waste Challenge will address these social, economic, and environmental issues all at the same time.
The Challenge, which begins on May 14, will encourage behavior changes by asking each participating household to weigh and record their cumulative wasted food each week. During the four-week challenge, participants will receive tips and resources about ways to prevent wasted food through simple behavior changes.
As an incentive to submit weekly data, there will be drawings for prizes that help prevent wasted food, such as glass and stainless steel food storage containers and reusable beeswax food wraps, plus $100 gift card to the grocery store of your choice. There will also be two grand prize drawings for $400 worth of harvest bucks, redeemable from the Dome Grown Produce stand at the Redmond Farmer’s Market or the new East Bend Farmer’s Market. Participants will also feel good about making changes in their own lives that will help their greater community.
The Rethink Food Waste Challenge, possible through a waste prevention grant from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. The Rethink Waste Project provides waste prevention and reduction education for Deschutes County residents through a partnership with Deschutes County Department of Solid Waste and our local garbage and recycling service providers.
Learn more and sign up for the Rethink Food Waste Challenge at: http://www.RethinkWasteProject.org/FoodWaste/