MSU professor quoted in Time magazine article on reducing food waste | New


BOZEMAN – A recent article on reducing food waste in Time magazine contained quotes from Carmen Byker Shanks, associate professor in the Department of Health and Human Development at Montana State University and a registered dietitian.

The article “Food waste is a huge environmental problem. Here are 5 ways to reduce yours, ”was written by Jamie Ducharme and posted on September 3 in the Living / Environment section.

Ducharme noted that a report by the World Resources Institute indicates that food waste is responsible for 8% of annual greenhouse gas emissions, and that 25% of agricultural water use and a land mass of the China’s size are used to produce food that ultimately goes uneaten. Therefore, Ducharme wrote, reducing food waste could help the environment by saving the resources and energy needed to produce unnecessary food and reducing the methane produced by rotting food in landfills. In addition, Ducharme wrote, Byker Shanks said that wasting good food also contributes to food and nutrition insecurity.

To combat the problem, Byker Shanks advised cautious buying habits.

“When you shop, plan your grocery list, avoid impulse buying, or stock up so much that you can’t use the food when it goes bad,” she said in the article. She also recommended freezing, canning, fermenting or marinating foods before they spoil; incorporating unnecessary elements into soups, sauces or smoothies; donate food to friends or to food banks; and composting.

Other tips in Byker Shanks’ article included placing perishable foods toward the front of the refrigerator or pantry; strategies to keep foods from spoiling; and keeping portion sizes moderate.

“Overeating is also a form of food waste,” said Byker Shanks. “Being careful about what you eat is also a way to reduce food waste. “

As part of his work as a professor, Byker Shanks co-directs the Food and Health Lab at MSU.

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