There are hundreds of ways to reduce food waste, and save money. But how many of these tips are useful? How many will you actually use to save time, money, and energy?
Nobody enjoys throwing food crumbs away. Aside from being wasteful, it’s also rather nasty, especially when it combines with your other trash and produces a soggy mess.
Our food choices have an impact on both our health and the environment. According to the USDA, between 30 and 40% of food in the United States is thrown out or wasted each year. This equates to around 133 billion pounds and $161 billion.
Food waste happens throughout the food supply chain, from production to consumption. Examples include spoiling during storage and transportation, as well as exposure to insects and rodents, bacteria, or mold. Sorting out blemished or poor products, as well as people buying more than they need or can consume, leads to loss. Not only is edible food squandered, but so is all the energy, fertilizer, and land use that went into generating it.
Here are 07 tips for reducing food waste in the kitchen:
Take a look around.
To avoid overbuying and food waste, take stock of your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer before you go shopping.
Make a food plan.
Planning at least a few meals each week is an excellent strategy to guarantee that you’ll stay away from food waste. It also keeps you from buying too much food, since you feel obligated to stock up on everything. Plan your meals so that you don’t use entirely different items for each recipe. Plan to eat broccoli as a side dish one night and in a casserole the next.
Safely store and consume leftovers.
If you don’t believe you’ll be able to consume your leftovers within three days, label them and keep them in the freezer. Keep your freezer tidy to avoid food going missing and being thrown out due to freezer burn.
Food should be stored properly.
One of the most common reasons I hear people claim they don’t consume fruits and veggies is because “when I purchase it, it goes bad, and I toss it away anyhow.” Begin by purchasing only what you can consume in a week. Greens in a plastic container in the crisper drawer with a paper towel, tomatoes, and bananas on the counter, potatoes, and onions in a cold, dark spot, and fresh herbs in a glass of water. Keep frozen fruits and veggies on standby in case you consume all of your fresh produce before your next supermarket run.
Buy “ugly” foods.
Buying imperfect food, which refers to misshaped or irregularly shaped fruits and vegetables, has never been easier. Some firms will deliver “ugly” foods to you monthly if you sign up for a membership. You can also connect with a local farmer through a community-supported agriculture program or farmers’ market to obtain some faulty products. Remember not to buy damaged or rotten vegetables.
Make creative use of leftovers.
Instead of throwing out outdated food, find ways to use it. Soup stock may be created from vegetable leftovers and peels. Soft apples or blueberries pair well with baked oats. Stale bread can even be used to create croutons or egg strata. Slightly wilted veggies work well in soups and stir-fries. One of the nicest things about soup is that it can be made out of almost anything.
- You will lower your carbon footprint regardless of the composting technique you use. According to the BBC, composting emits 14% less greenhouse gas than merely throwing food in a landfill.
- Helps you save on your trash bill.
- Creating a necessary ingredient to grow more nutritious food.
- Keeps you aware of your food waste.
- Supports local communities.
As an example: in just a few hours, the Lomi electric composter converts your food waste into nutrient-rich soil. It’s an excellent way to lessen your carbon footprint while also producing an excellent supplement for your garden or houseplants. Lomi is popular, but any other composting system will suffice.
More information on Lomi Composter may be found here.