Cutting down on food waste, mapping food deserts

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on October 9, 2012 at 6:04 PM

King County wants to help families reduce food waste.

This week, Fall City Elementary School students and their families are taking part in a pilot program to track how much of their food ends up in the trash.

The county says food gets wasted due to a variety of factors, such as buying too much of it or storing it improperly.

The county estimates that the average family of four throws away one-quarter of the food it buys.  That works out to about $1,600 a year per household.

Food deserts

Research conducted at the University of Washington raises concerns about "food deserts" in King County.

A food desert is where low-income people without cars lack easy access to low-cost, nutritious food.

The study said that just 34 percent of vulnerable populations in the country can walk to a nearby supermarket, and as few as 3 percent could walk to a nearby low-cost supermarket.

The researchers determined that public transit routes and timetables didn't help vulnerable populations reach any supermarket within 10 minutes.

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