Go Further With Food! Nutrition Education Helps Prevent Food Waste
02, March 2018 10:02 AM

National Nutrition Month® LogoMarch is National Nutrition Month®, and one way to Go Further With Food this year is to focus on nutrition education during Food Waste Prevention Week March 5-9, 2018. 

Dairy Council of California joins the Public Health Alliance of Southern California, University of California Nutrition Policy Institute along with numerous state agencies and departments to raise awareness and prevent food waste in California, elevating the health of kids and parents.

Why Focus on Food Waste?

According to the California Department of Resources, Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), Californians throw away nearly 12 billion pounds of food each year, wasting precious land, water, energy, and human resources. At the same time, according to Feeding America data, nearly 5 million Californians, including 1 in 5 children- are food insecure, lacking consistent access to enough food.  

A 2014 USDA report estimated that a staggering 1,249 calories per person, per day in the United States are wasted—more than enough to feed Californians currently experiencing hunger and food insecurity.  

Tammy Anderson-Wise invites partners to join Food Waste Prevention Week, March 5-9, 2018Can Nutrition Education Help Prevent Food Waste?

Nutrition education and food literacy embedded into Dairy Council of California programs can help reduce food waste and elevate health. Food literacy components, like knowledge of the five food groups, the importance of breakfast, portion sizes and how to plan, prepare and store healthy foods can help reduce food waste.

Reinforcing these concepts at multiple grade levels and family touchpoints helps build understanding and values that lead to healthier eating habits and less wasted food. 

How to Join Food Waste Prevent Week 

Join several agencies statewide in the Food Waste Reduction Hero Photo Challenge. Encourage students and clients to take a few photos (drawings and videos also accepted) that demonstrate:

  1. How food waste happens in the home, workplace or community; and
  2. Barriers faced in reducing food waste such as such as the food packaging or portion size options available for purchase, bulk pricing incentives, storage or time constraints, food disposal options, etc.; and
  3. What actions, or changes, can be made or you see others making to reduce food waste in homes, workplaces, and communities.

Dairy Is Best if UsedSimply share your submissions via social media platforms using the hashtag #SaveTheFoodCA and tag @SaveTheFood on Twitter and/or Instagram or email them to [email protected]. Please include your location and include mention of your department/agency/school with your submission.

What Else Helps Prevent Food Waste?

Teaching nutrition, educating on portion sizes, meal planning and shopping are a few healthy eating strategies available in Dairy Council of California resources.

Incorporating a few simple actions - such as adding a share table in the cafeteria, reminding students to only take what they’ll eat and finishing the last swallow of milk in the carton- helps to reduce wasted food at school.

Reminding clients to pay attention to how they waste food and encouraging them to meal plan and buy smaller portions of food in the store or order smaller portions in restaurants can help reduce wasted food at home.

Joining Food Waste Prevention Week 2018. Visit the Public Health Alliance of Southern California's website and follow hashtag #SaveTheFoodCA. 

Your efforts to be a Food Waste Reduction Hero this week, and into the future, will be impactful.   


Shannan Young, RDN, SNS
Program Director, Food Systems and Access

Tags: food access food waste Healthy eating meal planning National Nutrition Month nutrition education portion sizes Shannan Young

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