The United States is the global leader in food waste. 40% of all food in this country is wasted — 80 billion pounds a year. Most ends up in landfills, where it produces methane, a harmful greenhouse gas 28 to 36 times as potent as carbon dioxide.
At Mississippi Market, sustainability is a driving value. We strive to empower our community to make choices that help sustain our planet and aim to be a source of local, sustainable products and education about food-related issues. We’re committed to minimizing food waste in a number of ways:
1) Selling products that will date-out soon at a low cost to shoppers
If you are using the item soon or can plan to freeze it, this is a great way to save money! For example, chicken that has a $2 off sticker on it — if you don’t use it within the next couple days, throw it in your freezer!
Our kitchen staff look for creative ways to repurpose or reuse food items before they go bad. For example, turning day-old bread into croutons!
3) Donating to local food shelves
Each of our stores has a local food-shelf partner: Hallie Q. Brown at Selby/West 7th and Merrick Community Services at East 7th. We donate around 2,000 lbs. of food per month (both from shoppers adding to our donation collection bins and any extra product we have).
4) Providing break room “buddies” for staff
After we’ve donated what we can to food shelves, we provide excess products or slightly dated items to our staff — a great perk of working at the co-op! Staff also gets any “ugly” produce we don’t put out for our shoppers, such as fruits and veggies that are uniquely sized or shaped, or slightly bruised.
If we can’t sell, repurpose or donate, we can compost it to keep it out of the landfill! We have multiple compost bins in each store, including in our staff break rooms/work areas. Plus, all our straws, utensils, coffee cups and deli to-go containers are compostable!