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Wasted Food FAQ's

Updated: Jul 11, 2023

Wasted food costs you more than money. A year of wasted food in the United States is equivalent to the greenhouse gasses emitted by more than 42 coalfired powered plants and enough water to supply more than 50 million homes. Approximately 40% of all food waste comes from homes like yours.

The EPA Food Recovery Hierarchy prioritizes source reduction and feeding hungry people. In 2020 food rescue organizations in Hamilton County were able to divert 2,962 tons of food from the landfill and donate it to agencies which feed hungry people.

EPA Food Recovery Hierarchy

What’s the most important thing I can do to reduce my food waste?

Buy only what you need. The greatest contributor to food waste is overbuying. Research your recipes, make a list, shop your pantry, buy what you need, and store your food properly.

How can I learn to safely store and preserve my food?

Hamilton County R3Source has a great online food storage guide. You can also visit the USDA’s FoodKeeper or the University of Georgia’s National Center for Home Food Preservation.

Is it safe to cook with leftovers?

Generally, yes, if you think it looks good, tastes good, and smells good, you can probably use it safely for home and family consumption. Remember to store your food safely after eating. That means reducing the food temperature quickly and keeping the temperature low until you’re ready to reheat the food. Read this article on cooking with substitutions.

Check out our complete Reducing Wasted Food FAQ.


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