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AVOIDING FOOD WASTE
Worldwide, “Without accounting for greenhouse gas emissions from land use change, the carbon footprint of food produced and not eaten is estimated at 3.3 billion tons.”  Of total waste in North America 35% is wasted in production, with food left on the field to rot. 40% of waste is at the consumer level.  Food waste is the #1 producer of the toxic greenhouse gas, methane, in landfills.
* Focus is on healthy food combinations.
* Organic food recommended; no chemical or pesticide residues.
* Retains dietary trace elements stripped out by modern fertilizers.
* Organic farming methods avoid toxic runoff to waterways.
* FACT: Healthy food more expensive than unhealthy food.
ABOUT GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISM (GMO) CROPS
* Most frequently used GMO crops are the "high yield," "Round Up resistant," or "no till" grains and crops; increasing use around the globe.
* Used for animal feed and for human consumption.
* Confers desired trait of herbicide tolerance; purpose: to avoid time-consuming "old-fashioned" mechanical tilling of weeds.
* Crop fields over-sprayed with Round Up 2x year; takes 1/2 day to spray a field.
* Weeds, in turn, developing reciprocal Round Up resistance; 50% of US farmers now report "super-weeds" choking their crops.
* Current huge class action suits in US against Monsanto by farm-spray specialists who contracted lymphoma by repetitive RoundUp spraying.
* Additionally, crops also engineered for insect resistance; plants produce their own internal toxins, with bio-accumulation of residues within crops.
* Insects are becoming resistant.
* GMO traits cross-pollinate and contaminate non-GMO farms; extreme economic damage to organic farmers, who can't export contaminated crops.
* Persists in soil for up to 10 years.
* GMO USES: All grain crops, soybeans, fruits and veggies, peanuts, sugarcane, plantation coffee, tobacco, cotton, linen, and so forth.
* GMO soy found in most infant formulas.
* High fructose corn syrup, the most frequent, and often the main ingredient in processed foods; makes unhealthy food taste good; adds calories.
* Processed food contains high levels of additives and stabilizers.
* Artificial flavor chemicals designed exclusively for each product.
* Mixed in giant vats.
* Designed with addictive "flavor bursts" that immediately disappear, causing craving; same with salt and sugar.
* Be realistic about how many perishables actually will be used.
* Don't over-buy the beautiful seasonal produce.
* Have "catch-up," or "use-it-up" meals before going to the store; inventory perishables before grocery shopping.
* Monitor what kids eat-- or don't eat, and adjust.
* Cook meat or fish when fresh; freeze if it won’t be used in 3-4 days.
* Presentation is everything with food storage; visibility key in avoiding waste.
* Re-used clear deli containers have excellent visibility; small cupboard footprint when stacked; can always find a top.
* Clear containers make food appealing to grab; use correct size container, not too large.
* Downsize containers as food is used; keep single servings in front, to grab and pull out.
* Produce in plastic bags in the back of the refrigerator is a death knell.
* Cut or slice when fresh; store cut pieces in clear containers in the front.
* The middle and lower shelves have best visibility, especially for “littles.”
* Any excess produce can be frozen and later used in cooking or blending.
* To perk up veggies, trim root areas and soak in water (celery, lettuce, greens) for immediate use or storage.
* Place fresh herbs, stems trimmed, in a glass of water to perk up; refrigerate in the glass.
* Berries, grapes, other fruits like to be dry. Pre-wash and store in small fruit colanders from the grocery; harder to find now.
* Don't pre-wash berries, and use in 1-2 days.
* Soft bodied fruits like berries, and also mushrooms, trap more pesticides than other produce; organic definitely the best for them.
* Cut grape branches into clusters; store loose grapes and small clusters on top.
* Freeze excess berries, then thaw and mash; use for fruit topping, home-made fruit yogurt, or smoothies. Note: Commercial fruited yogurt can contain as much sugar as many desserts.
* Chopped soft apples or other fruits can be added to cereal, salads or cooked food.
* Be creative. Remember, a recipe is merely a suggestion…
* Good alternative to fresh; snap-frozen, packaged within hours of harvest so retain vitamins; unsalted, handy to use.
* Fresh produce has 6-stage handling process to get to market, so loses nutrients; but that is no reason to not use them. 
* Canned produce quickly processed close to origin; avoid cans saying “Product of China.”
* Use bag clips or strong office spring clips (eco-friendly) to close and store frozen produce.
* When contents get low, store bags together in easy pull-out Gallon zip-lock; avoids bags getting lost and freezer burn.
* Any fresh vegetable or fruit can be added to frozen, or pre-prepared meals.
* Improves nutritional value; adds to daily fruit/veggie servings; ups number of portions; dilutes out salt, fat, sugar, and calories.
* Bright contrast colors such as shredded carrots, cut radishes, chopped herbs, purple onions, or raisins make the dishes more attractive.
* If not accustomed to healthful ingredients, incorporate them into the diet gradually, as you feel comfortable.
* Select products with fewer ingredients.
* Note: Plastic trays & wrappers release trace chemicals when heated; avoid by cooking food in non-plastic dishware.
PACKAGED AND BAKED GOODS
* When dry foods get low, eg, cereal or crackers, remove from boxes, trim excess wrapper and clip closed or move to small container; display in front.
* Breads stay fresher when frozen; when bags get low, trim excess and store with other "low" breads in Gallon-zips; avoids getting lost.
* If baked goods get dry, add a small piece of apple to package; will soften overnight (grandmother's trick).
FOR MORE INFORMATION
(1) Food Waste: https://tinyurl.com/y6gse5bl
(4) Creating cravings: https://tinyurl.com/yc7dqyvl