By Dan Newman

At one time or another, we have all thrown away food. Maybe you bought too many eggs from the grocery store, and they expired. Maybe your Thanksgiving turkey was a few pounds too many.

It happens, right? But let’s think about that for a moment.

Imagine the 92,542-seat Rose Bowl stadium as a giant serving bowl.

Now, imagine it filled to the brim with food—tomatoes, pork chops, milk, cheese, chicken.

Finally, imagine all that food being trucked straight to a landfill.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, as much as 40 percent of the food produced in this country goes to waste. It ends up in landfills by the ton, where it rots and creates methane, a devastating greenhouse gas.

The good news is we can make small changes to our habits to reduce that staggering figure.

Robin Rinehart-Balfe is hosting an educational event focusing on the problem of food waste. The event is open to the public and will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Wed., Dec. 6 at Northcentral Technical College.

Panelists will give talks on various aspects of food waste and how to reduce it. There will be an interactive game guests can play on their smartphones, and a Q&A session to close out the evening.

One solution the event will explore is salvage grocery stores. There are a number scattered throughout central Wisconsin, such as the Westside Market in Merrill, though Wausau does not have such a store. There will be an explanation of expiration dates on common food items, a demonstration of how to tell where certain food items come from, and other topics relative to food waste.

Informational materials will be available, and there will be a drawing for various prizes following an exit survey as well.

Rinehart-Balfe is an NTC student and member of Beta Rho Zeta, a local chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. This event is part of their Honors in Action program. NTC is a 5 star chapter.