Each day Jackson County citizens throw out food that with a little planning could be used to help other citizens. Please look at the items you have purchased and if you will not be utilizing them prior to the expiration date, think about donating them to your local food bank.
- Forty percent of food produced or imported for consumption in the United States is never eaten. It is thrown away, amounting to approximately $165 billion worth of wasted food each year.
- Fifty percent of all produce in the US is thrown away, constituting one-third of all foodstuffs.
- 31 million tons of food is added to landfills each year.
- The impact of food produced and not eaten is it produces methane when it decomposes, which is a very potent greenhouse gas, which, if released into the atmosphere in large amounts can be harmful to the environment.
- In Jackson County we are fortunate that Dry Creek Landfill has a methane gas collection and control system. Methane gas from decomposing trash is collected and processed into renewable energy at a facility located on the landfill property.
This is the practice of reducing waste when shopping and preparing food. A few examples are:
- Shop smart, make and use a shopping list, buy only what you need and use what you buy.
- Store food correctly, learn the best practices for storing perishable food items.
- Routinely check the use by dates on the food you purchase.
- Save and actually eat leftovers. When preparing food, don’t make more than you need and don’t overserve.
- Donate the food items you are not going to use in a timely manner.
Food rescue is gathering food that is edible and making it available to those in need. There are many organizations in Jackson County that collect food items and provide them to individuals in need.
To learn more about food rescue, please see the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.
Local partners can help with food rescue and food donations. In Jackson County, ACCESS provides food boxes to hungry families and individuals by assisting local food pantries and agency programs. Please visit Access in Medford for more information and a list of local pantries.