Clements: The No Taste for Waste campaign by the American Farm Bureau Federation and other partners in agriculture connects consumers with farmers who use sustainable practices and aims to reduce food waste at the table and on the farm. Farm Bureau member April Clayton grows organic apples and cherries in Washington State with her husband. Clayton says the No Taste for Waste campaign addresses a critical topic.
Clayton: With Americans throwing away 25 percent of their food and the number of farmers decreasing and an increasing population, food waste is a more important topic than ever.
Clements: Households are responsible for the largest portion of all food waste. For consumers, she says there is one step they can take to help significantly reduce waste.
Clayton: Buy ugly fruit. My husband and I, we like to joke that we grow diamonds because only the most beautiful fruit that doesn’t have cracks, dings or bruises on them, tend to make it to the fresh market where they fetch a higher price. If Americans were more willing to buy fruit that wasn’t as beautiful, that would help reduce waste dramatically.
Clements: New technologies and practices allow Clayton and her husband to reduce waste and grow a more sustainable product.
Clayton: Instead of growing the tree with four branches, we’re just growing the branch straight up. This allows us to plant trees closer together. We can prune them thinner to allow for more light to come through. This will help reduce the number of uglies that we see in the field. It’s less space and we get a bigger crop quicker. We also use less water.
Clements: Learn more at NoTasteforWaste.org. Micheal Clements, Washington.