People Of Cache Valley Working Together To Fight Food Waste

Feb 16, 2018

Cache Valley farms working against food waste
Credit Bronson Teichert

Next time you find yourself scraping your plate into the garbage, you might consider how much you’re throwing away.  

Mateja Savoi Roskos, a nutrition professor at Utah State University, researches how consumers and our food system interact.

“The average consumer is looking for perfection,” Roskos said. “We are looking for fruits and vegetables that are symmetrical, that are beautiful.”

Some big chain stores are working locally against food waste: Smiths, Macy’s, Walmart and now one more.

“I have to tip my hat to Sam’s Club in this regard because as of six or seven months ago, they finally got word from corporate that they are allowed to donate the produce,” said Matthew Whitaker, director of the Cache Food Pantry.

He said food stored in cans and boxes can easily be donated to places like the Cache Food Pantry without much liability to the stores.

Food with shorter expiration dates like tomatoes and bread might not get a second chance, at least not with people.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, half of the food produced in the United States is wasted.

One farmer in Cache Valley is taking action to resolve the problem. Lloyd Buttars takes what the food pantry can’t give to people and give it to his animals. 

“I just go down there once a week and pick up the bread that they’re just going to chuck,” Buttars said.

Buttars has been farming for fifty years and he’s always looking for ways to use everything he can.

“I just hate to see us wasted so much food, wasting so much of everything,” he said.

And his advise:

“Take less and throw less away.”