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Chef Joel is partnering with Ecology to celebrate the Use Food Well launch and share innovative recipes that reduce food waste and increase creativity in the kitchen. (State of Washington Department of Ecology)
By Mary Reischmann | The Skanner News
Published: 29 March 2024

Each year, Washington generates one million tons of food waste, including half a million tons of edible food. That’s enough food to make 105 meals for every person in Washington.

On April 1, the Washington Department of Ecology will launch the Use Food Well campaign in conjunction with the start of National Food Waste Prevention Week, April 1 to 7. Partnering with the national campaign, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee also proclaimed this to be Food Waste Prevention Week in the state, encouraging everyone to commit to reducing food waste.

Reducing food waste can increase food security, reduce climate impacts, and help Washington residents save money. The campaign launch and includes webpages and resources to help individuals and families plan meals, shop smart and store food properly.

Joel Gamoran, sustainable chef and host of the new PBS show Homemade Live, is partnering with Ecology and the Washington State Food Center on the campaign to get people excited about using food well. You can do this by reducing waste, finding recipes and techniques to use every scrap of food in our refrigerators.

"Waste-free cooking is really a lifestyle of finding value where others don't,” said Gamoran. “We can all be part of the solution and use food well.”

“Washington has set an ambitious goal to cut food waste in half by 2030 - and helping people shop smarter and use food wisely is the most important thing we can do to reach that goal.” said Laura Watson, Ecology’s director. 

The Use Food Well campaign focuses on preventing food waste through simple steps like smart shopping, meal planning, and proper food storage.

“We want to reach people right in the grocery aisle, so they think about using food well and reducing waste before the food even gets to their refrigerator,” said Jade Monroe, lead for the Washington State Food Center.

“Research shows that people don’t like to waste food—and that learning a few simple strategies can help them to achieve that. This saves money, protects the environment and helps to ensure that everyone in our communities has access to healthy food.”

Starting in April, shoppers will see the campaign in Safeway and Albertsons stores across Washington.

“We are proud to support the Department of Ecology with this educational campaign,” said Sara Osborne, Safeway’s Public & Government Affairs Director. “This partnership is a unique way for us to continue our sustainability efforts and help our shoppers be part of the solution." 

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