Dana Gunders

Dana is a food and agriculture-focused project scientist for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), based in San Francisco. She blogs regularly about food waste here.

Food

A look at the $175 in your compost

In 2009, U.S. consumers spent a whopping $32 billion on vegetables they bought, never ate, and ended up throwing away. And no, the solution is not to stop buying vegetables.

Food

Eat leftovers, save the world

Photo: Patrick Gage KelleyAs if turkey pot pie and turkey a la king aren’t enticing enough on their own, here’s another reason to eat leftovers this holiday season: About 1 million tons of CO2, 95 billion gallons of water, and $275 million will be thrown away this Thanksgiving in the form of leftover turkey. The USDA reports that 35 percent of perfectly good turkey meat in the U.S. does not get eaten after it is purchased by consumers (and that’s not including bones). This compares with only 15 percent for chicken. Why is so much more turkey wasted than chicken? “Possibly because …

Food

‘Use-by’ dates: A myth that needs busting

  Here’s a superbly kept secret: You know all those dates you see on food products that say “sell by,” “use by,” and “best before”? Those dates do not indicate the safety of your food, and generally speaking, they’re not regulated. I couldn’t believe it either, but a quick look at USDA’s food labeling site confirms that the only product for which “use-by” dates are federally regulated is infant formula. Beyond that, some states regulate dates for some products, but generally “use-by” and “best-by” dates are manufacturer suggestions for peak quality. Suggestions. For peak quality. That’s all. If this is …