CLEVELAND – As a child, your mother may have scolded you for wasting your food.
As it turns out, a new study says that Americans throw out about one pound of food every day.
Researchers studied more than 20 food groups and found that fruits and vegetables accounted for 39 percent of all food waste.
Susan Albers, PsyD, of Cleveland Clinic, helps people develop mindful eating practices and healthy relationships with food.
She did not take part in the study, but said this new research isn’t an excuse for people to trash their plans for a healthy diet.
According to Dr. Albers, there are some measures that we can take to prevent food waste and maintain a healthy diet.
“When you come home, prep your food,” she said. “Immediately wash it, put it in baggies or containers – it’s much more likely that you’re going to use it right away.”
Also, keeping food in an easy to see location will help us to remember to eat it right away.
Dr. Albers said a good rule to follow is – first in, first out. Take the older food and move it to the front of the refrigerator to make sure it is used first.
She also said it’s best to start with a plan before heading to the store.
“When you go to the grocery store, plan what you’re going to buy,” said Dr. Albers. “That’s going to help cut-down on impulse-buys, and buying too much food.”
Dr. Albers said sometimes we can extend the life of certain foods by getting a little creative – when bananas start to go brown, try to repurpose them into smoothies or banana bread.