Dana Gunders is not a chef. 
But she does love food and utterly despises seeing it going to waste.


Dana is a Senior Scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and one of the first to bring to light just how much food is wasted across the country through her 2012 report Wasted: How America is Losing Up to 40% of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill.  Dana’s work to reduce food waste has been covered on CNN, NBC, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, NPR, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Dr. Oz, Munchies and many other outlets.  She now works with policymakers, food companies, foundations, and local governments and leads NRDC’s food waste team.  Along the way, she realized a key reason people waste food is that they don’t have the right knowledge at their fingertips. 

Thus was born the Waste-Free Kitchen Handbook.



The Waste Free Kitchen Handbook

Imagine walking out of the grocery store with four bags full of fresh food, dropping one entire bag, and not bothering to pick it up. 

Seems crazy, but that’s essentially what most of us are doing all the time. The average American throws away $30 eachmonth in the form of uneaten food. Yup, the lettuce that went bad, the leftovers you never got around to eating, and the science experiment in the back of the fridge you’re hoping your husband will clean up one day—they all add up to 15 to 25 percent of the food you buy going uneaten. This handbook will change all of that. Making a difference has never been easier or more delicious!


Packed with checklists, practical strategies, and simple recipes, the Handbook is the ultimate tool for reducing food waste at home. It includes easy tips on how to:

  • Grocery shop smarter
  • Plan meals better
  • Decode expiration dates
  • Use your fridge to its full potential
  • Cook with leftover ingredients   (including 20 tasty “use-it-up” recipes)
  • Store foods properly, including specific shelf-life, storage and creative use-it-up ideas for more than 85 common foods
  • Gunders’s slim but indispensable new guide...offers up easy, practical tips and delicious recipes that will help reduce kitchen waste and save money."
    — Washington Post
  • Gunders is...a fine coach for the growing number of chefs and consumers who regret that 'about 40 percent of all food in the United States does not get eaten.'"
    Chicago Tribune
  • Smart tips for making conservation-savvy decisions at the grocery store and making the most of what you cart home."
    The Atlantic's City Lab

For media inquiries, please contact Kate Kiely at

Just Eat It
The Big Waste:  Why Do We Throw Away So Much Food?

HBO: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Food Waste  
NBC Nightly News: September 18, 2013 Nightly News 
CNBC’s Closing Bell: Why Do We Waste Food? 
FOX Business The Willis Report Interview with Gerri Willis, Second Interview with Gerri Willis
Wall Street Journal Live Lunch Break:  The Truth About Food Labels 

NPR Science Friday Waste Not: The Ugly Truth About Food Waste in America
American Public Media’s Marketplace Money The economics of wasted leftovers
American Public Media – Marketplace: My milk has expired. Can I drink it?
American Public Media – Marketplace: Spilled and spoiled: In the U.S., consumers are the food wasters
NPR Talk of the Nation The Ugly Truth About Food Waste in America

New York Times: Starve a Landfill
TIME Magazine: ‘Til Mold Do Us Part
Washington Post: Use By, Sell By, Doesn’t Help Us Get By
FORBES: Stop!  Buy a Smaller Turkey


Wasting less food saves resources
and money–and might even save lives.


Got inspiration? Send photos, recipes, and tips to Food Waste Warrior
Share your success with the world!


It's time to use that use-it-up mindset
you've been cultivating.

Name *