4 Easy Ways to Reduce Your Food Waste
Many of us waste food without even knowing it, and it has become a major problem around the world. Fortunately, each of us can make small changes to our routines that will not only save our food but make it more useful. Here’s what you can do to reduce your food waste.
Use a Meal Plan
Meal planning, just as the name implies, requires thinking ahead and planning what foods to prepare. This means that you figure out what you want, write down your shopping list, and stick to it in the grocery store. Buying unnecessary foods can lead to others going to waste before you can get to them. You shouldn’t go grocery shopping hungry so you can stay focused amid the delicious distractions. Take into consideration the food items you already have when planning your meals so you are using your older items before the newer ones.
Cycle Through Your Food
Make sure that when you stock your pantry, you rotate your older foods to the front and newer ones to the back. This helps you use the older items before they expire and find their way into the garbage. Be aware of what you have, so you don’t look in the fridge and find a friendly hunk of mold waiting for you. I know I need to work on this one. We all need the self-discipline to eat the food that we already have, instead of deciding on a meal last minute and going to buy more ingredients.
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Freeze and Save for Later
If you have food items or scraps that won’t be used immediately, you can freeze them to keep them fresher longer. You can do this with bread, fruit, herbs, and vegetables. Use stale bread to make breadcrumbs or croutons. Save ripe fruit for smoothies or healthy popsicles. Place chopped herbs in an ice cube tray with oil to use later for cooking, and boil vegetables/vegetable scraps to create a savory vegetable stock. You can find more ideas here.
Start a Compost Pile
Even after trying our hardest, we can’t always help the amount of food waste we accumulate when cooking. There will be scraps. Those scraps and one-use items (think of paper towels, tea bags, coffee filters, etc.) are still useful. They can be used in a compost pile. There are many articles that give great tips on its upkeep, and spring is a great time to start. It takes time for everything to decompose, but the results will reduce your food waste and create a nutrient-rich soil to use in your yard and garden.
It can be overwhelming trying to implement everything at once, so start slow and you will see yourself becoming more efficient in the use of your food. Each small change makes a world of a difference, and soon enough, you will wonder how you ever lived any differently.
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