The hunger that doesn’t have to be

A DHEC programs aims to cut food waste in half

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COLUMBIA SC (WOLO)–Although we have all seen public service announcements about the lack of food…Across the country and the world, the images of hungry people resonate in our collective minds.  The often unknown fact is that this widespread need for sustenance doesn’t necessarily have to be.

According to to South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), 38.4 million tons of food are simply thrown away in the United States every year.  To put it another way, 40% of all food processed is simply tossed in the circular file.

There is also an economical impact that hits home.  This general disregard for the preservation of food goes right to our wallets.  DHEC’s Richard Chesley says that American’s throw away about $1500 worth of food every year.

DHEC’s “Don’t Waste Food South Carolina” program was designed to create awareness about the economic, environmental, and even social impact of food waste.  DHEC’s goal, according to Chesley is to reduce food waste in half by 2030.  “There are simple ways,” according to Chesley, to cut down on waste.  Chesley sugguests a shopping list that you stick to when shopping, only buying the food you need.  Also, when you bring home fresh food, rotate the older food to the front so it is used.

The other way to cut down on food, according to Chesley, is to understand expiration dates.  Chesley says that often dates aren’t the date that a food item spoils.  “If you are not sure, use the old smell test,” says Chesley.

For more information on ways to conserve food, as well as ways to get involved in the program, you can check out the Don’t Waste Food Carolina website HERE.

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