Did you know that in the US, around one pound of food (0.45kg) is wasted per person every single day? It doesn’t seem like much, but when you multiply it by the entire population, the statistics certainly are shocking.
This food loss is leading to several problems within our environment. The more demand there is, the bigger the strain on our natural resources. Thankfully, there are ways that you can make a difference.
Below we will talk about ten tips to reduce your food waste.
Let’s get started!
Plan Out Your Meals In Advance
Do you struggle to provide healthy meals for your family? One way to make it easier is to plan your dinners for the week in advance.
Alongside the fact that you will know what to buy from the shops, you won’t have to worry about “throwing together” dishes with ingredients you have lying around. It’s convenient and will save you a lot of hassle.
Write A Shopping List
You don’t often see people with hand-written shopping lists anymore, but they come in handy. Following a list makes you much less likely to buy unnecessary items or forget anything important.
Try and get in the habit of keeping a piece of paper on your fridge and only writing something down when it’s necessary. You might also consider doing your shopping online. You’ll buy less if you avoid the sales in-store.
Use Your Leftovers
If you do happen to have food items you didn’t finish in your refrigerator, make sure that you use them! There are so many tasty solutions for your leftovers, and they can make delicious second-day lunch meals.
Check out these ways to repurpose leftovers for some inspiration. Of course, you can always use your scraps as compost, DIY beauty products, and infusions too!
Store Your Food Correctly
A massive contributor to food waste is when items are stored incorrectly. By following the correct methods, you’ll be able to significantly improve the shelf life of your ingredients so that you have time to consume them.
Try To Remember:
– Refrigerate/freeze perishables ASAP.
– Set your appliances to the right temperature.
– Transfer dry goods to air-tight containers when opened.
Don’t have enough storage? Check out these trending kitchen project ideas to improve your space.
Use A Meal Delivery Service
It can be hard to figure out precisely what groceries you need when cooking, and it’s easy to overcook, especially if you live alone. We’ve all made the mistake of making pasta that would feed an entire village.
Meal delivery services are an excellent suggestion for those that want to save time and limit waste. This is because all of the ingredients come measured out, and you only use what is required for each recipe.
What’s also great is that most of them allow you to choose your meals. You’ll be able to eat something different each and every day.
Learn How To Preserve
If you find that you have a lot of groceries left over and cannot use them in time, you may want to consider preservation. This is a way of treating food to slow down spoilage.
A few different types that you might want to look further into include the following:
– Drying – Removal of moisture content to inhibit the growth of bacteria.
– Canning – A mixture of heating and sealing for long-term storage. There are two types; pressure canning and water bath canning.
– Freezing –Slows bacteria growth with extremely cold temperatures.
– Curing – The process of adding sugar or salt to reduce water content.
– Pickling – Creates a high acid environment to kill off microbes. This can lead to changes in texture and flavor.
Nobody wants to eat rotten food, so it’s important to understand product labels before you purchase any items. Remember:
Best Before – Can be safe to consume after the date listed if stored correctly.
Use By – Shouldn’t be eaten after the date listed.
By knowing the difference, you’ll be able to pay extra attention when you are shopping for items. You want the date to be as long as possible so that you get a reasonable amount of time to use the product.
Reduce Your Serving Sizes
Are you eating more than you should be? While food might be delicious, many of us consume way more calories than necessary. For instance, the recommended intake for women sits at 2000, and for men, 2500.
Following the serving sizes won’t only reduce food waste but can also help your health. If you’re unsure where to begin, check the back of each product. It should be listed near the nutritional information.
Keep Your Kitchen Tidy
You won’t be able to see what food items you need to use up if you have a messy kitchen. So next time you have a free day, make sure you spend a good amount of time sorting through everything and organizing it.
The FIFO method is a great way to do this. It stands for first in, first out and refers to placing old food at the front of the cupboard so that they are grabbed and consumed before the newer items.
Monitor Your Waste To Make Change
Finally, the last tip is to monitor what you are throwing out when you notice waste. This will help you make future changes and prevent loss from happening again.
For example, you might notice that a particular item doesn’t get eaten because nobody likes it. If this is the case, you will know not to repurchase it.
Family communication is essential here! Be sure to understand everybody’s eating habits and their likes and dislikes.
As you can see, there are many great ways to reduce the amount of food waste you produce. The challenging part is ensuring that you follow these new habits! It might be difficult at first, but soon it will become second nature, and you’re one step closer to helping our amazing planet.