When we eat out, there is a lot of waste generation because many fast food chains and “on-the-go” locations use disposable plates, cups, mugs, spoons, forks, and knives. Most of the restaurants do not recycle. And most of the time, the food served here is some of the most unhealthy meals you can eat !
When we go out, most of the time we have to drive thus contributing to pollution.
About 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted globally each year, and around 40% of that comes from restaurants.
In the U.S. roughly half of the food produced is eventually thrown out or wasted.
Approximately 85% of the food that isn’t used in a typical American restaurant is thrown out while only a small percentage is recycled or donated. With more than 42 million food- insecure people in the US, this amount of food waste is obviously a major problem.
Every day restaurants around the world throw away tons of food while many people in America and around the world are dying from hunger and malnourishment.
42 million Americans face hunger every day. According to The National Resource Defense Council, if we were able to rescue just 15% of the food we waste each year, we’d save enough to feed 25 million Americans.
Each year about 63 million tons of food is wasted annually in the U.S., according to the non-profit ReFED in a report released in February 2018.
The restaurant industry alone generates about 11.4 million tons of food waste annually at a cost of about $25 billion per year.
What Can We Do?
Cook at home. We can cut down on the number of times we eat out to save money (more often than not groceries are less expensive than restaurant meals), save our health (restaurant portions have grown considerably over the decades and are often extremely high in calories and sodium). One can also bulk cook (cook many meals at once and refrigerate/freeze for later), so as to save time in food prep and cleanup.Pick a restaurant that uses reusable dinnerware.
When you go to a restaurant, keep a reusable food container in your bag to bring back any leftovers. By doing so, you are diverting that food from becoming waste and by using reusable container, you are not using plastic or styrofoam boxes that are very harmful to our environment and which take centuries to degrade.