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Food waste on the rise in America

Many people think it can be dangerous to go to the grocery store hungry, because we buy things we don’t need. And that can lead to wasted food. So what can you do to stop food from going into the trash can?

As you scan down the produce isle at Broulim’s in Shelley, your mouth begins to water. Perfectly ripe peaches, greener-than-green broccoli, and freshly picked corn catch your eye.

“I go to the grocery store and see lots of things that look good that are on sale,” said Michele Nicks, a native of Shelley.

But a new study shows those fruits and vegetables may never make it to your stomach, and wind up in the garbage instead. It happens to Michele Nicks too often.

“So I’ll buy them but ifI don’t have a menu thenI forget to use them,” said Nicks.

The National Resources Defense Council says Americans throw away 40 percent of their food supply every year. But food produce manager of Broulim’s, Ned Fiacco, said there are ways to save your food for a longer period of time.

“If you haven’t used them in three, four days, and maybe your broccoli is getting just a little rubbery — you cut off the end of that broccoli put it in warm water. Then put the broccoli in the fridge. The pores of the veggie cells will close back up and you’ll think you bought it that day,” said Fiacco.

Cutting the ends of lettuce and parsley while soaking them in hot water for 20 minutes can revive your vegetables.

“People really need to keep opening the refrigerator door before you go to the grocery store. And those doors that say ‘crisper’ is sometimes where produce begins to die because we forget that it’s there,” said Fiacco.

And for Fiacco, if there’s an abundance of food, he’ll donate some to the Shelley Food Bank.

“There’s a lot of families that need help feeding their children and we hate to see that go to waste,” said Dave Krekel, a volunteer for the Shelley Food Bank.

The average American family of four ends up throwing away almost $2,300 in food annually.

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