Preventing Food Waste to Help the Environment & Your Pocketbook

Food waste is a major concern presenting a serious challenge to our natural resources sites the United States Food & Drug Administration. Between 30-40% of the food produced in the US goes uneaten (as much as 20 pounds of food per person each month). When you consider that statistic, which equates to $165 billion in food waste annually, that’s a massive cumulative negative impact on our pocketbooks.

“There are definitely ways to curb food waste,” said Arriana Rabago, City of Ventura Environmental Specialist. “While some of the waste happens on the farm and the packing, distribution, and retailer level, as consumers we can make a difference by purchasing only what we need, knowing how to store (or freeze) our food to extend its shelf life, and then incorporating the’ no-so-perfect’ looking fruits and veggies into our recipes.

Understanding a Food Date Label

Sell buy – A sell buy date indicates that a product should not be sold after a particular date if the buyer is to have it at its best quality.

A Use by or Best by Date is the maker’s estimate of how long a product will keep at its best quality.

“It’s important to know that the ‘sell by’ or ‘use by’ dates does not mean the product should not be consumed or is not safe to eat. It stored properly, a food product should be safe and of good quality for some time after it’s labeled date. Consumers also need to use their sense of smell, sight, and taste to make a determination,” continued Rabago.

The USFDA’s “FoodKeeper,” developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cornell University and the Food Marketing Institute, is a helpful resource and a complete guide to how long food available in the U.S. (for android and apple devices) will keep in the pantry, refrigerator, and in the freezer. Find out more at

“Consumers can use wilted veggies and bruised fruit, which still tastes good, incorporating them into smoothies, soups, and sauces,” continued Rabago. “I strongly suggest that those interested in finding delicious recipes to prevent food waste, Visit:


LISTEN to Sustainable Ventura News PODCAST  – Food Waste Prevention — Tips to Make Use of Your Aging Fruits & Veggies, Click Here.



Watch some of Environmental Sustainability’s Food Waste Prevention VIDEOS:



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