When it comes to wasting food, a little goes a long way. Throw out a few slices of bread here, some uneaten leftovers there, and before you know it, we’ve collectively thrown away millions of tons of food. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, food waste accounted for 14% of all municipal waste in 2010. But in earlier points in history, food waste was a lot less common. In the Great Depression, for example, recipes got creative because food was just too scarce — and too expensive — to throw anything edible away.
These days, food is relatively cheap, at least historically speaking. Thanks to better agricultural, storage, and transport techniques, many Americans have access to all kinds of food at all times of the year at a price that costs them, on average, about 6% of their income. That’s a lower percentage than any other country in the world. Even so, wasting food is a bad habit, and not just because it’s bad karma when so many other people in the world are going without (although that’s worth thinking about). Think about it this way — every time you throw away food, you’re effectively tossing a few dollars in the trash. Fortunately, cooks around the world have created a number of great recipes to transform those lowly leftovers into something with culinary cachet. Check out some of the best examples in my new post on WiseBread.com: http://bit.ly/No0yWT