5 Clever Ways To Prevent Food Waste
At first glance, food waste can seem like a fairly small problem. Until you look at the statistics… According to Delish,1 billion people go hungry every year and 1.3 billion tons of food go unused.
You would think that if people are going hungry and there is plenty of food leftover that we would find a way to bridge this gap. But we have a long way to go before we can really start to see drastic changes in food waste prevention.
The good news is, we can do our part in the meantime to responsibly use our food and limit the waste as much as possible. The efforts we make at home to preserve our resources really do make a huge impact. So the next time you wonder if you should throw out your extra scraps of random food you have laying around, try out one of these tips I’ve listed below to keep yourself accountable.
Use Stasher Bags & Freeze Your Extra Food
Using your freezer to store away leftovers that would otherwise go bad quickly is a great way to preserve your food! Stasher bags are a great eco-friendly option to use so you avoid unwanted plastic waste! Simply store your leftovers in a stasher bag and you’re good to go. The bags can be washed and used multiple times. They’re a great investment if you cook a lot and want to store your food away sustainably.
Repurpose Your Left Overs
You can turn day-old bread into croutons and use leftover vegetables to make soup! There are no limits to what you can make with what you have in your fridge. All it takes is some creativity and preparation!
I recommend creating a list of foods you have laying around and set out to make a meal with these items. You’d be surprised what you find when you google what you can make with any ingredients you already have. Keep an ongoing list of recipes that are simple but can be tweaked to add things like fruits or vegetables. This way you can add in stuff that might be on the verge of going bad. If you do end up not needing leftovers, ask around to see if someone could put your extra resources to use. Besides, you never know who could use an extra food item until you ask.
Juice Your Produce Scraps + Compost What You Can
If you're wondering what to do with leftover pieces of fruit peel or vegetable trimmings there's a simple solution. Juicing your fruit and vegetable scraps is a great way to use every last drop of what you have sitting around. This way you also get the extra nutrients too!
If juicing isn't an option for you, you can look into composting your scraps. A few rules to keep in mind when composting your food at home: foods like eggshells, fruits, veggies, coffee grounds, are ok to compost. Foods like meat, fish, bones, dairy, or cooked foods with oil are no-nos. If you’re unsure if you can compost a certain food, always do the research and double-check. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
To learn more about how to compost at home correctly you can check out this cool article by NPR here.
Keep Cut Fruits & Veggies Stored In Cold Water
Storing your fruits and vegetables in cold water in your fridge will prolong the life of your produce by a long shot! Just make sure you change the water out every few days to keep it fresh. A few good examples of veggies include lettuce, carrots, potatoes, etc. This is also super helpful if you live in a small household and need more time to get through your produce. Keeping your foods in water will maximize the fridge life and help you make the most of every meal.
Make A Grocery List And Stick To It
To help you be more mindful of what you eat, make a list of meal ideas you plan on making for the week. When you have a clear idea of what you’ll be eating it's easier not to overspend or end up making mindless purchases. It's also a good idea to go shopping on a full stomach. Going grocery shopping while hungry can tempt us to make purchases we could do without.
The goal is to keep your fridge stocked with foods you will eat and avoid making purchases that will end up wasting food at the end of the month.
When it comes to preserving your food, it should never feel like a daunting task. We can all learn something from each other on how to make the most of what we have. So I encourage you to ask your friends and family what they do when they need to save food. Maybe you’ll even learn a new recipe or two!