“If you haven’t chosen a New Year’s resolution yet, I recommend a commitment to waste less food,” says Xouhoa Bowen, founder of Community Impact Lab in San Leandro.
Like most of us, Xouhoa found herself frequently throwing out food that had spoiled—until she took the Stop Food Waste Challenge to find out how much of her family’s food was going to waste and why, and to learn new habits to make the most of their food.
“In the first part of the challenge, it was quite eye-opening to measure the amounts of food gone bad and to understand the reasons why,” Bowen recalls. “There were a lot of greens that wilted before I could use them, and leftovers forgotten at the back of the fridge.”
Now some new tools and routines help her save food: for example, placing items that need to be eaten first on a designated fridge shelf. “It’s such a small change, but now when I open the fridge, I see right away what to use up and can plan meals around that.”
For Bowen, developing greater awareness about wasted food took effort, but the payoff is well worth it. “It helps the environment, plus I’m saving money and even got more creative in the kitchen as a result of the Stop Food Waste Challenge,” she concludes.
At Community Impact Lab, a nonprofit empowering women for positive social change, Bowen now teaches others to make the most of their food.
Ready to take the Stop Food Waste Challenge? Get started with the 10-minute Fridge Reality Check. Find the guide and many food saving tips and tools at stopfoodwaste.org/challenge.