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8 Ways to Reduce Food Waste
We are always on the hunt to try and cut back on waste – not only to save money, but to help the environment as well! With so much food being wasted around the world (and yet there’s still a large amount of people starving every day) we figured now is a great time to bring up some easy ways that we can all cut back on waste.
According to National Geographic, more than one third of our food is wasted. Not only will we save the earth by cutting back, but we’ll be saving time and money as well!
- Plan out your meals – It’s easy to overshoot what you’ll actually be eating when you don’t plan. Before stepping foot in the grocery store, plan out what you and your family will be eating for every meal (or at least “ballpark” it!). This will help ensure you don’t get too much – and helps with diets as well!
- Know the food you’re buying – A lot of us tend to get food, and then forget about it once it’s in the fridge or pantry… until it goes bad and starts to smell. Make sure you’re putting your food in the right places. For example, tomatoes should be kept at room temperature away from sunlight, and apples should be refrigerated for maximum freshness!
- Make a list of what you’re throwing away – Be honest with yourself. How much are you really wasting? Sometimes it’s easier to turn a blind eye to what you’re doing, but by keeping a list of every food item you throw away, cutting back on waste will always be at the front of your mind.
- Clean your pantry/fridge – Remember when I said it’s easy to forget about the food you buy when you get home from the grocery store? The more visible you keep your food, the more likely you are to eat it! Cut down on the clutter within your pantry and fridge so that you can tell what food you already have in your home
- Use your smartphone! Apps aren’t just useful for keeping your kids busy – there are a ton of tools you can use to cut back on food waste. There are some that help you find recipes based off of the food you already have, and others that show where you can donate leftover food.
- Speaking of leftovers: Eat them! When making meals for the whole family, it can be a little hard to pinpoint exactly how much to make (and we’d always rather make too much than too little, right?). Don’t let that extra food go to waste, though! Put it back in your fridge in an airtight container, and have it for lunch the next day!
- Still have too much? Donate it! Did you throw a party and have an entire platter full of veggies, fruit, and hamburgers leftover? We’ve all been in this dilemma – there’s so much leftover, we know we won’t be able to eat it all by the time it goes bad. This is a perfect time to donate it to a good cause! Check out the organizations and food banks in your area – they’d love to take the food off of your hands!
- Don’t be scared of the expiration or sell-by dates – While we’re not telling you to suck it up and drink the curdled milk, many of the expiration and sell-by dates are based off of quality and not food safety. Go off of your sight and smell rather than the printed dates to ensure you’re getting your money’s worth on the food you’re buying.
We’re all contributing in one way or another to food waste – but sometimes, businesses can be the ones doing the most damage. Big corporations often have to throw out thousands of pounds of food everyday because of quality issues. The best way to support good practices, is to buy local! Shop at your local farmer’s markets to ensure you’re getting quality, delicious products (and supporting your community as well)!