10 Easy Ways to Reduce Your Food Waste
Posted on November 1, 2015
Did you know that the amount of global food waste today is more than enough to feed the nearly 1 billion hungry people in the world? This holiday season, save your wallet and the planet and still celebrate the holidays with abundance! A few small changes can add up to big savings.
1. Shop smart. Plan meals, use grocery lists, and avoid impulse buys. You’re less likely to buy things you don’t need and that you probably won't consume (and save $). Buy items only when you have a plan for using them, and wait until perishables are used up before buying more. Check out these apps for extra-easy meal planning.
2. Have a Plan B. Let’s say you buy Camembert to make a fancy dish for that fancy dinner party — and then the dinner party is canceled. Don’t toss the cheese! Instead, come up with a backup recipe and use it in a different dish (or just eat it plain, because c’mon — it’s cheese).
3. Practice First In, First Out. When putting away groceries, move the older stuff to the front of the fridge/freezer/pantry and put new products in the back. This way, you’re more likely to use it up before it expires.
4. Eat leftovers! Brown-bag them for work or school for a free packed lunch. If you don’t want to eat leftovers the day after they’re cooked, freeze and save them for later (just remember to note when you froze them so you can use them up before the next millenium).
5. Use it all. When cooking, try to use every piece of food you’re cooking with, whenever possible (lots of veggie scraps actually contain mega nutrients!). For example, leave the skin on cucumbers and potatoes and sauté broccoli stems along with the florets (they taste good too; we promise!).
6. Produce past its prime. Produce doesn’t have to be tossed just because it’s reaching the end of its peak. Soft fruit can be used in smoothies; wilting vegetables can be used in soups. And both wilting fruits and veggies can be turned into delicious, nutritious juice.
7. Donate what you won’t use. Never going to eat that can of beans? Donate it to a food kitchen or the food bank before it expires so it can be consumed by someone who needs it.
8. Store food properly in the fridge. Learn how and where to store specific products in the fridge, and they’re likely to keep longer (hint: they don’t call it the “produce drawer” for nothin’!).
9. Preserve the goodness. Got more fruit than you know what to do with? Try canning or freezing it so it’ll last for months to come. Or pickle vegetables. Create chutneys and other great condiments. There are some great recipes to be googled and lots of easy how to resources online.
10. Educate other people. Of course, you don't need to get preachy. But just helping people become aware of the issue helps make people more conscious of what they're wasting. And then you can share some of these tips with them on how to reduce the food waste they produce.