SUNBURY – Food waste is a big problem in America. Thirty percents of all edible food in America goes to waste and Beth Stark, the manager of Lifestyle Initiatives and a Registered Dietician at Weis Markets says people can do their part, “Specifically fruits and vegetables account for about 1/3 of that 30%. We as dieticians are always recommending more fruits and vegetables, but when you hear that about a third of what people are purchasing are generally going to waste, it’s something we just want to address and talk about to prevent such a problem.”
She said consumers have to think strategically, about how to make produce last longer, “Not all fruits and vegetables are intended to be stored in the refrigerator, not all are intended to be stored at room temperature. There is different ways to store and when you store the foods properly then you will certainly extend their shelf life.”
Stark recommends storing apples, berries, broccoli, and lettuce in the fridge, and leave bananas, cucumbers, citrus fruits, onions, and potatoes at room temperature. Fresh foods are not the only food that goes to waste in the home, packaged foods with long shelf lives can be forgotten in cupboards and lose their freshness.
On a holiday note, Erin Long, a Healthy Living Coordinator and Registered Dietician at Weis Markets says with Easter around the corner, she says, try to think outside of the box with the kids Easter baskets, “Of course we have our favorite chocolate or different candies, going off of our food waste theme today, it might be a good idea to put just one or two of their favorite treats in the basket, and then also think a little bit outside the box and do some non-food items.” Both Stark and Long were recently on WKOK Sunrise you can hear their full interview online at WKOK.com. (Sarah Benek)