Most of us know that food waste is a problem and a major contributor to greenhouse gasses. But did you know that one-third of all food produced globally is never eaten? And it’s not just about the wasted food, it’s also about wasting the resources used to grow the food, such as water (where one quarter of our water supply is used to produce food). This amount of food waste seems difficult to comprehend when you consider that 1 in 9 people go to bed hungry each night. What can you do?
Five Tips To Reduce Food Waste:
1. Shop Smarter
Many of us are guilty of heading to the
grocery store for a few items we need and never really taking stock of what we
already have at home and what meal potential our groceries hold. The result of
this is often overbuying certain food items and allowing food to go bad until
they must be thrown away. Fortunately, a simple solution to this is to take a
moment at the start of each week to brainstorm meal ideas for the week and make
a grocery list based off of what you don’t already have in the fridge. In this
way we can avoid buying that random bag of mixed greens, and instead use it for
the delicious salad with all our favorite toppings we have planned in advance.
Planning out meals and taking inventory of what we already have allows us to
contribute to less food waste, save money and experience more satisfaction and
less stress in the kitchen.
2. Prep Veggies & Fruits
Once you get home from the grocery store, a
helpful tactic to avoid food waste is to prep some of the fruits and veggies
you plan on eating within the next few days. It’s human nature to reach for a
bowl of delicious sliced fruits in the fridge, while completely ignoring the
other whole fruits. You can chop up onions, broccoli and bell peppers that you
plan on using in the next few dinners, that will also make cooking easier when
the time comes. Additionally, you can prep your smoothies by chopping and
freezing your fruits and greens ahead of time and placing them in individual
bags or tupperware. Now, whenever you’re craving a smoothie, simply empty your
prepared bag into the blender and add your liquid of choice!
If you happen to be a gardener, composting is
a win-win for utilizing your food scraps and creating quality soil for your garden.
Maybe you don’t have a garden, but perhaps you have some flower beds or even
house plants, in which case composting can still be beneficial to you. If you
don’t have the space or the interest in keeping plants, you can always donate
your compost to community gardens or even local farms and they will love you
Provided you have the outdoor space, consider
purchasing or making an outdoor compost bin. Once you’ve set up your outdoor
station, purchase or recycle a smaller bucket or bin to set on your kitchen
countertop or under your sink for easy access while you’re chopping up fruits
and veggies. You can then transport your kitchen compost to your larger outdoor
compost once full.
4. Preserve & Ferment
Have some cabbage that’s taking up space in your
fridge and ultimately heading for the trash? Why not make some homemade kimchi
that will last you months and serve not only as a delicious flavoring agent but
also as a digestive aid! Fermented foods generally act as excellent supporters
of healthy digestion, giving new life and purpose to otherwise rejected
veggies. The same goes for fruits you never got around to eating that you could
repurpose into delicious jams with a much higher shelf life.
With a little bit of counter space, you can
double your money’s worth and completely eliminate food scraps by reviving and
replanting the ends of your veggies. The tops of root vegetables can be cut off
and placed in shallow water, eventually producing edible greens! Regrow green
onions simple by placing them root down in a shallow dish of water. A piece of
ginger can also be replanted to regrow an entirely new ginger root. The
possibilities are truly endless with a little research into replanting
vegetable scraps. Truly a win for the environment, your wallet and an
opportunity to experience the magic of gardening.
Speaking of food, if you’re looking for some inspiration, check out our recipe collections.
About the Author
Tamara Siemering is a Freelance Content & Copywriter passionate about veganism, mindfulness and sustainable, holistic living. You can view samples of her work on her blog: Plant Based Empress. She is eager to chat about project ideas with like-minded businesses and individuals. Feel free to contact her through her website “Contact” info.
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