Reduce Food Loss, Waste During Summer

Clint Thompson Fruit, Top Posts, Vegetables

Grocery store refrigerator aisle with containers of pre-packaged wraps and salads, ready to go for lunches and dinners. Cheaper than fast food alternatives.
Credit: Sheila Fitzgerald /

Summertime provides families across the Southeast the opportunity to gather together, socialize and eat some fresh vegetables and fruit and other goodies. The U.S. Department of Agriculture provides resources to promote the reduction of food loss and waste this time of year.

There are four steps that consumers can implement to reduce food waste at home, at the beach or at the lake.

Plan ahead: Before traveling to the store or ordering online, make a list so you don’t purchase more than you need.

Serve smart: Portion control reduces plate waste.

Love your leftovers: Pack leftovers in small portions in small containers. Mark the contents and date. Refrigerate or freeze immediately.

Compost, don’t trash: Recycle your food scraps in a home compost bin or at a local compost center.

Learn more about food loss and waste prevention at

The average family of four wastes nearly $1,500 worth of food every year, according to USDA research. The food that goes in the trash winds up in a landfill where it creates methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.

In a one-minute video, USDA’s Food Loss and Waste Liaison Dr. Jean Buzby demonstrates different ways to prevent food waste. The video messages and visuals are also available as a soundbites & b-roll package to allow customized storytelling about preventing food waste. In addition, an infographic is available in two formats, Easy Steps to Prevent Food Waste (PDF, 97.8 KB) and Easy Steps to Prevent Food Waste (PNG, 76.0 KB) presenting streamlined steps to reducing food waste at home.