When it comes to our relationship with food, every one has their own point of view. Some chose a lifestyle as vegans, vegetarians or keto base diet. Some eat everything and some have food restrictions due to a physical condition.
But the one thing common to us all is our ability to waste food and be a part of a problem we might not even be aware of. In the United States alone, 40 percent of food gets tossed every year—and that amounts to $162 billion in waste annually, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council, yet according to the USDA 40 million Americans are living in food insecure households.
Yes, a lot of food is thrown away by the manufacturers and the grocery stores but it was shown that each person throws 20 lbs of food per month after it was purchased. So, a family of 4, will add 80 lbs of food into the landfills every month.
This does not only put a strain on our landfills but also on our pockets.This will equal to you ordering pizza and sending the delivery boy d
What can we do to reduce the waste? How much of the food you buy actually get eaten by the members of your family? Although we can't eliminate world hunger, here are tips to help you reduce food waste:
BUY IT WHEN YOU NEED IT. Stop buying just because it is there. If you need it- get it. If you ran out of it- get it. But if it is on sale and it will just lay in your pantry- avoid buying it. Try to avoid buying in Bulk Mega stores as you always end up buying more than you need - do you really need 4 lettuce heads? The chances of you throwing away food are bigger when buying in bulk.
Plan your meals. Make a meal plan. it takes about an hour every week to do so. Count the amount of meals you and your family are eating at home, check your pantry for things that you already and while building the plan, be honest about the things your family actually eat. I would love my kids to eat chard, but they refuse no matter how many times I tried to present it. Maybe it is time to understand I should not buy it - it always end up in the trash.
Store correctly. Most produce go through a long journey before they end up on your plate. Storing them correctly will give them the best chances to prolong their life. If you purchased produce in a plastic bag (try not to), take the produce out of it immediately as it will shorten its life. Leafy green vegetables need to stay in water even in the fridge-such as celery, parsley, cilantro. Some Vegetables that you currently store in the fridge, will do much better in a dry cool place in open air (Tomatoes, potatoes, squash, garlic, onion). According to Cooks Illustrated, milk, cream, yogurt, and other dairy products are best stored on the upper shelves of your refrigerator. The temperature there is the most constant, so they'll keep longer. Contrary to the urge by some refrigerators to put your eggs on the inside of their door. Don’t give in— the door is the warmest part of the refrigerator. Eggs are happiest in their cartons on a shelf.
Cook the right amount. Back to meal planning- don't cook more than you can eat. You will reduce food waste and also gain great fresh flavors every time you cook.
Store leftovers. It takes time to know how much exactly to cook and sometimes you just want to cook in bulk and freeze or you have leftovers you could not avoid.It is time to store your leftovers. Try to do so in clear jars so you can see what is left and not forget about it. You can wrap leftover vegetables and fruit in a Beeswax or vegan wrap to elongate its life.
Recycle Food. No. Don't throw it into the recycle bin, just find a new life to that dry bread (try to dry it and make bread crumbs or just toast it) or those veggie scraps (collect it and when the bag is full make a vegetable stock). Many leftover items will taste great in your omelette. Fruit that are over ripped can turn to jams, smoothies or ice cream and leftover rice or beans can be blended and turn to great vegan patties.
Compost scraps. It is not as scary as it may sound. Composting is easy and can be done in almost any container. At the simplest level, the process of composting requires making a heap of wet organic matter such as leaves, grass, and food scraps, and waiting for the materials to break down after a period of months, it is rich in nutrients and fertilize and condition soil.
Avoid Recipes. We are not all chefs and sometimes following recipes is a must as imagination is not always in place especially after a long day at work. Just remember that recipes are not the only way to cook. If you purchased a whole bottle of spice that you used once because there was a recipe that called for it, that is considered waste. try to educate yourself and learn the interplay of ingredients so you can create substitutes and minor changes to the food you already know, and use the ingredients you already have.
These are our tips for now. There is much more that each of us can do on a personal level. Write us with your ideas to reduce food waste- we would love to hear them!