The UN Food and Agriculture Organization reports that nearly one third of all food produced for human consumption is wasted throughout production, storage, transportation, consumption, and disposal. Water is an essential input in food production, and when we throw away food, we’re also wasting water. Eleven trillion gallons of water is lost to food waste annually in the US. This is the equivalent of about 16.6 million Olympic-sized swimming pools.
According to a report by the NRDC, eliminating food waste would save a quarter of all freshwater used in the US each year. Learn about your food’s shelf life and how long you can store food in your freezer. Other ways to reduce food waste are only buying what you plan to eat, using leftovers to create new meals, or donating food you can’t use to soup kitchens.
It’s more important than ever that on this World Water Day, Americans find ways to save every drop.
Danielle Nierenberg is a food and agriculture expert and co-founder of Food Tank: The Food Think Tank.