And that's not as alarming as media reports are making it sound. We are constantly told to eat less "processed" food and more of the fresh kind, which aside from statistical correlation has never been shown to be valid health advice, and fruits and vegetables that are not "processed" by being canned or frozen are going to rot.
If a survey by American Dairy Association Mideast is accurate, the average American throws out 250 pounds of food each year. They sure aren't throwing out canned green beans. That means that our war on food, with the barrage of retouched photos showing people charmed by their salads, is having real food waste consequences. But there is no other option than waste. The kinds of people who rush to buy too many vegetables at the organic farmer's market are opposed to the science behind potatoes or apples that won't immediately go brown and look "rotten."
If salad was this funny around me, I would eat it.
The organization offers some options to reduce food waste, including milk, by oddly wanting milk to be less convenient and engaging in some junk science. Refrigerator designs have special places for gallons of milk, often on the door, so you don't have to waste electricity moving stuff around to get a product that dairy marketing has made sure people use often. A dairy marketing group is saying to place it in the back, behind that day old salad you will never eat, because being on the door will cause it to be warmed each time the door is opened.
Opening the refrigerator door is not making your milk spoil quicker
You are taking the milk out of the refrigerator anyway, and it will be out for 30-45 seconds, regardless of where it was in the refrigerator, so all you are doing is increasing the time you have the fridge door open for all of your food. The average refrigerator is only 2 feet deep so a lot of cold air can be displaced in a short amount of time, right?
We can bust two myths here. While someone standing there looking at an open refrigerator is annoying - again, it is only two feet deep - opening it is not causing all of the cold air to rush out and for your milk to spoil faster, and the reason is simple physics. The cold is not contained in the air, it's in the products. The moment you close the door again the enclosed space will not need the compressor to cool down, the food inside will do that.
What you should not do is put hot soup in there, for the same reason. Cooling a bowl of hot soup is going to be a heat equivalent of three months of refrigerator door opening.
Don't eat more food to keep it from spoiling
One of the other recommendations American Dairy Association Mideast is to get fatter in order to prevent food spoilage. If you bought a pint of whipping cream and only needed a cup, advises dietitian Karen Bakies, mix the extra in scrambled eggs. We have a culture where 40 percent are obese and a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is telling people in press releases to add whipped cream to eggs? Her recommendation that adding yogurt "for a healthy smoothie" is likewise not based on empirical evidence. There is no such thing as a healthy smoothie, it is a lot of calories, and even more so if you add yogurt because her employer represents dairy companies.
I am not trying to pick on Bakies, their press release was clearing written to get in "Good Housekeeping" and "Readers Digest" and someone's Forbes blog, and it will do that. It is not a bad thing to think about food waste, but the solution to that is buying canned and frozen goods, and not being manipulated by fresh food hype. I make my own butter and always freeze that so the extra won't go to waste. But by saying that I am going up against vegetable farming trade groups along with dairy. Evidence can't win against those odds.