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In Focus

"See more clearly when you are informed"

Avoiding Food Waste is an often forgotten part of being environmentally conscious. While many looking to go green have gotten the message to reduce, reuse, and recycle when it comes to things like cans and bottles they often are unaware of just how much waste their daily meals make. Below you will find key terms, statistics, and other useful tools to understand and talk about Avoiding Food Waste. If you would like to know more, consider coming to an IYC event. Our next one can be found below in the section labeled Our Events. We host them virtually, on a wide range of topics, discussing policy, civics, and current events. 

Key Terms You Should Know


We can meet our needs without wasting resources for others or for the future.


Market conditions off the farm can lead farmers to throw out edible food.

Ugly Food:

Stores and people often avoid edible food because it is visually not as attractive.


Organic material can be added to soil instead of landfills to help plants grow.


We can conserve with reasonable production, consumption, reuse, and recovery.

Vegetables on a counter

Moments In History

1809 - The canning process was first invented by Frenchman Nicolas Appert.

1930 - In 10 years, the percept of families that owned a refrigerator . . .

1982 - City Harvest was founded & helped start the food rescue movement in NYC.

1940 - . . . jumped from only 8% to nearly 50%.

1917 - The U.S. Food Administration was created in response to conditions depicted in The Jungle.

1946 - Tupperware was first introduced.


According to the National Coffee Association, on average American adults drink 3 cups of coffee per day. A search of the internet shows numerous ways that even coffee grounds can be put to good use!

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, "10.5% (13.8 million) of U.S. households were food insecure at some time during 2020."

Each year, the American consumer spends about $1,300 on food that they don't eat, according to researcher Zach Conrad in William & Mary College's Department of Kinesiology & Health Sciences.

According to WWF and Tesco, of all the food grown, approximately 40% goes uneaten.

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration estimates that "confusion over date labeling [on food] accounts for approximately 20% of consumer food waste."


Take leftovers home. Repurpose leftovers.

Whether at home or a restaurant, take only what you will eat.

Vegetables Colors on baskets

Share plates. Eat family style meals.

Help food banks and other services reroute would-be food waste.

Have awareness of food waste at each step of the supply chain.

Notable Names

Jonathan Levy
Massimo Bottura
Abhi Ramesh
Michael Pollan

Jonathan Levy

"Zero Waste Guy"

Massimo Bottura


Abhi Ramesh

Michael Pollan


Our Events



Further Resources

Avoiding Food Waste Infographic

Share what you have learned about Avoiding Food Waste. Our Infographic has been designed to be shared easily by printing, emailing, or posting on social media. Click on the image to view or download the PDF File. (Not for commercial use.) 

Food Waste Infographic.png

Know-It-All Event Video

Our speaker event was insightful and fun! The interesting anecdotes from Jenny Rustemeyer, Producer and Actor of the film, were invaluable and truly entertaining. Watch the video to further understand the need to avoid food waste and embrace a food recovery lifestyle. You can also make an event out of it yourself by hosting your own Know-It-All Watch: Avoiding Food Waste Party party. Feel free to share this video with others! (Not for commercial use.) 

Popcorn & Chat Event Video

Our film event was insightful and fun! After watching Just Eat It. together, we discussed the film and what we learned about avoiding food waste and embracing a food recovery lifestyle. Feel free to share this video with others! (Not for commercial use.) 

Celebrate & Create Event Video

Our crafting event for kids was lots of fun! Use your own materials to participate in our craft project. Watch the video to learn how to make your own Earth Day decorative box! You can also make an event out of it by hosting your own Celebrate & Create: Avoiding Food Waste crafting party. Feel free to share this video with others! (Not for commercial use.) 

Take Action

Farmers Market

Check out the Values section on this page to learn how you can decrease your food waste on a daily basis!

Vegetables Healthy

Educate yourself about what food labels like "Best used by" mean!

Friendly Hands Together Unity

Commit to one food recovery friendly action each week!

Support Online Social Media

Show your support online, in social media, or in person the next time you have the opportunity to promote food recovery or a zero waste lifestyle!

Infographic Friends Social

Share our Avoiding Food Waste Infographic with friends, family, and anyone and everyone you think would appreciate becoming more informed!

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