7 ways to stop throwing money away at the grocery store

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Wednesday, April 27, 2022
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Every day we waste perfectly good food. But there's one Houston group working to change that and help solve food insecurity.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- While one in every seven Texans does not have enough food to eat, data shows over one-third of all available food ends up uneaten or in a garbage can.

Fifteen Houston restaurants are hoping to bring awareness to the issue of food waste by partnering with Second Servings, a nonprofit that feeds the hungry by rescuing surplus food from businesses.

In observation of Stop Food Waste Day on April 27, participating restaurants are offering a zero-waste dish or cocktail that includes a donation to feed hungry Houstonians.

Click here to find Houston restaurants participating in Stop Food Waste Day

While 16% of Houston doesn't have enough to eat, data shows we're throwing away a third of our groceries every single month.

The amount of food waste in the Houston area is staggering, while 16% of residents are considered food insecure.

"It's like going to the grocery store and filling your cart with three bags of groceries, and on the way out the door, dumping one in the trash," said Barbara Bronstein, Second Servings' founder and president. "It makes no sense."

Not only is the food getting thrown away, so are the time and resources that went into growing the food, labor, shipping, production and upkeep of these items.

"Supermarkets average about 300 pounds of surplus food everyday," Bronstein said. "Ordinarily it would go to waste, so we rescue that."

RELATED: Non-profit delivers excess food from restaurants, events to hungry

Daniel Pecoraro, a former executive chef at The Capital Grille, said we can all play a part by creating a menu ahead of time that reduces food waste at home.

Pecoraro said at the end of each week, think about a vegetable stew or soup.

"Definitely use those vegetables, not only for nutrition but to get rid of the things you have left over," Pecoraro said.

Here are some other things you can do to keep food fresh and save money:

  • Wrap banana stems tightly with plastic wrap
  • Place lemons in a bowl of water in the fridge
  • Store ripe avocados in the fridge
  • Wrap celery tightly in foil and store in the fridge
  • Store milk on the bottom shelf of the fridge to prevent spoiling
  • Store opened jars of salsa and more upside down in the fridge

Bronstein said Second Servings is working to create a bridge between those in need and the surplus found in local grocers, venues, food manufacturers and bakeries.

You can learn more about Second Servings on its website.