Food waste is a serious issue: Billions of tons of food are wasted every year adding up to billions of wasted dollars. Worldwide, a third of all food produced is ultimately wasted. That amount of food could feed hungry populations four times over.
Furthermore, food waste is bad for the environment. When food waste ends up in landfills, it converts to methane gas that is harmful to the environment and causes climate change. When you reduce food waste you also help conserve energy and resources that would have gone towards growing, manufacturing, shipping and disposing of excess food, and cut down on pollution too.
There are many good reasons to use up food responsibly and today we’re showing you ways to reduce food waste.
Organize: Keep the oldest items with the nearest expiration dates at the front of your refrigerator and pantry. This will help you use these items first.
Shop at Home: When planning meals, check out what you have available at home that may expire soon. Before purchasing new food, make meals using what needs to be eaten before it spoils.
Plan your Shopping List Carefully: Plan out your meals before shopping to only buy exactly what you need. Consider smart ways to use up the entirety of an item. For instance, if a recipe calls for half an onion, find another recipe to use the rest of the onion.
Eat All of a Food: Skins and stems are usually safe to eat so incorporate them into your dishes. Potato skins and broccoli stems, for example, have additional nutrients and add texture and flavor to your meals.
Eat Leftovers: Don’t let your hard work go to waste by discarding food you didn’t eat in one meal. Enjoy leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day. This goes for restaurant food as well. If you get tired of eating the same leftovers, repurpose it to come up with something else. The chicken you roasted can become chicken salad and the extra steak you grilled makes a great steak fajita.
Make Soup: If you have wilting vegetables, make soup. Save bones from recent meat dishes to create your own bone broth. Then chop and toss in vegetables and add in spices for a delicious homemade soup.
Store Food Properly: Store your food so it will last as long as possible. This goes for refrigerated and non-refrigerated items. Tightly sealed containers are a great place to start.
Freeze Food: Produce, meat, bread and other food items can be frozen and used at a later date. If you find you’ve made too much of something or have more raw foods than you can use, freeze them and save yourself a trip to the store or preparing a meal another day.
Share Food: If you’ve made too much of something, share it with a friend or neighbor. They will probably be thrilled to have it and not have to do their own cooking.
Donate Food Scraps: Farmers often accept food scraps for their pigs or to make compost. If you live near a farm, check to see if you can drop off food to be put to good use.
Expiration Dates: Don’t toss food just because it is past the expiration date. Often expiration dates are a guideline for the foods peak quality but it doesn’t necessarily mean food is bad past that date. If the food looks, smells and tastes OK, it probably is.
Join us in employing these ways to reduce food waste. It’s good for the environment, it’s good for your wallet and it’s good for humanity.