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Tips to Reduce Food Waste

Shop Smarter
  • Prepare meals by serving size
  • Plan your meals for the week with food already found in the kitchen before purchasing more.
  • Check your refrigerator and cupboards to make a grocery list before shopping to avoid buying food you already have.
  • Purchase “ugly” fruits or vegetables that often get left behind at the grocery store but are safe to eat. “Ugly” produce has physical imperfections but is not damaged or rotten.
Store Food Mindfully
  • Place new produce behind older produce in the refrigerator to avoid spoilage
  • Freeze fruits and vegetables if you know they won’t be eaten in time before spoiling.
  • Use the FoodKeeper and CalFresh websites to learn how to maximize the freshness and quality of food.
Preserve and Manage Excess Food
  • Utilize food that is ready to expire for soups, baked goods, smoothies, etc.
  • Create new dishes and snacks with leftover food.
  • If you prepared too much food for a party, pack extras in containers for guests to take home.
  • Click here to get familiar with “best by” and “sell by” date labels on food products. Understanding how they are different can reduce the premature disposal of edible food.

Get Involved

  • Donate unopened non-perishable (retail packaged) items to local food banks/food pantries. To find a food donation pantry near you, click here.
  • Organize a community food drive and a food waste prevention challenge.
  • Volunteer at your local food banks/food pantries.
  • Encourage your local supermarkets, restaurants, and schools to donate excess food.

For more information on safe surplus food prevention and donation resources, visit the County of Los Angeles Public Health website.