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Five simple things to reduce food waste

Having enough food for everyone begins with reducing waste – from buying less and storing it properly to sharing more.

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Buying Less Food in Action: Making a shopping list and planning meals before shopping will help you buy the amount of food that is needed so that you don’t waste food. There are a number of services that help consumers shop responsibly – Mealmixer and e-mealz help consumers make a weekly shopping list that fits the exact amount of food that they need to buy. Eating leftovers is another great way to reduce the amount of food that needs to be purchased. At leftoverchef.com, patrons can search for recipes based on leftover ingredients that they have. Similarly, Love Food Hate Waste, offers cooking enthusiasts recipes for their leftovers.

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5. Responsible grocery shopping: Consumers should make sure that they shop at places that practice responsible waste management. Many grocery stores are hesitant to donate leftovers to food banks because they are worried about possible liabilities if someone gets sick. But consumers can encourage grocery chains to reduce food waste by supporting local food banks in a responsible manner.

Responsible grocery shopping in Action: Safeway and Vons grocery chains donate extra food to Feeding America. Additionally, Albertsons started a perishable food recovery program that donates meat and dairy to food banks. The Fresh Rescue program, which partners with various national supermarkets, has also helped food banks with fundraising in 37 states.

• Graham Salinger is a research interns for the Nourishing the Planet project.

• To read more about food waste, see: Reducing Food Waste: Making the Most of Our Abundance, Innovation of the Week: Reducing Food Waste, and Fresh Ideas for Food Waste.

• To purchase "State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet" please click HERE. And to watch the one-minute book trailer, click HERE.

This article originally appeared at Nourishing the Planet, a blog published by the Worldwatch Institute.

• Sign-up to receive a weekly selection of practical and inspiring Change Agent articles by clicking here.

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