How to reduce Food Waste at Home

Prevent Food Waste / Sunday, January 14th, 2018

First in, First out. When you come back from the grocery store with all the new delicious food, make sure to move older products to the front of your fridge/pantry/freezer. I know you really want to eat the new stuff but don’t forget the older products before they turn bad.

Keep an eye on the food you waste. Designate a week in which you write down everything you throw out on a regular basis. You can use our Food Waste Log for that. Tossing half a loaf of bread each week? Maybe it’s time to start freezing half that loaf the moment you buy it so it doesn’t go stale before you’re able to eat it.

Take stock. You should always know what you have. Especially in the freezer and pantry which are the most common candidates for forgotten products. Plan meals around these products before they go bad. Keep a list of what’s in the freezer and when each item was frozen. Place this on the freezer door for easy reference and use items before they pass their prime.

Designate one dinner each week as a “use-it-up” meal. Instead of cooking a new meal, look around in the cupboards and fridge for leftovers and other food that might otherwise get overlooked. That’s your chance to be creative. Rescue that apple by slicing it into your salad.

Use it all. When you prepare a meal make sure you use every piece of whatever food you’re cooking with. Leave the skin on the cucumber and the carrots. The broccoli stems are sweet and delicious too. There are many vegetable in which you can eat the leaves as well. Further, these parts provide additional nutrients for our bodies.

Store better. If you regularly throw away stale chips/cereal/crackers/etc., try storing them in airtight containers — this should help them keep longer (or, of course, just buy fewer of these products).

Repurpose leftovers scraps. Use vegetable and meat scraps in homemade stocks, and use citrus fruit rinds and zest to add flavor to other meals. You can easily freeze the stock in a glass jar.

Donate what you won’t use. Never going to eat that can of beans? Donate it to your community before it expires so it can be consumed by someone who needs it. 

Donate the gross stuff, too! Many farmers happily accept food scraps for feeding pigs or adding to a compost heap. To find farms near you, check out one of these resources.

Store food properly in the fridge. 

Compost! Hate potato skins? Don’t feel like turning wilted vegetables into soup stock? No worries; food scraps still don’t need to be tossed. Just start a compost pile in the backyard or even under the sink, and convert food waste into a useful resource.

Take home leftovers. You are out for dinner and can’t manage to eat everything. Don’t worry, take it home with you and eat it later.

Share. Made a quadruple recipe of a casserole you ended up disliking? Gift it to friends, family, neighbours and the Foodsharing community — they’re likely to be grateful for the saved money and time. 

Go trayless. When eating in a cafeteria or food court, skip the tray. Doing so is directly associated with a reduction in food waste, possibly because it’s harder for people to carry more food than they can actually eat.

Educate other people. Sure, nobody likes a Debbie Downer at the dinner table. But turns out, simply being aware of the issue of food waste can help make people more attentive to wasting food.

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