Did you know that millions of people go hungry every day, even though there’s enough food in the world to feed everyone? According to a scientific report, around a third of the food produced for people to eat is wasted. If just 1/4 of this is saved it could feed all the hungry people!
Governments across the globe are making changes to reduce food waste, but it’s up to all of us to do our part. There are countless ways to reduce the amount of food waste in our own homes. Let’s explore some of them.
5 Simple Steps to Reduce Food Waste
Clearly, food waste is a much bigger problem than what most people realize. Of course, as ordinary people, we can’t end world hunger. But, we can help alleviate it. Begin with these 5 simple steps:
Step 1 – Compost if You Can
If you have peels, ends, scraps of food, spoiled leftovers, coffee grounds, eggshells, or biodegradable teabags, don’t throw it away, turn it into energy for plants by composting it!
Even if you don’t have a garden or enough space for a composting system outdoors, there are ways of doing simple countertop composting.
Composting has a range of benefits:
- It enriches the soil because it helps it to retain moisture and to fight pests and diseases.
- The need for toxic chemical fertilizers is reduced.
- It helps you to lower your carbon footprint by reducing methane emissions from landfills.
Step 2 – Shop Smart
It sounds really simple but this is one of the most important things you can do. Plan what you will eat for a few days or a week in advance. Create a shopping list, and stick to buying only what you need. Food can’t go bad if it’s used!
A few more things to consider when you shop:
- Think of how many times you’ll eat at home or get take-out, and adjust your shopping list accordingly.
- Check what you already have before including it in the list.
- Only buy bulk items if you’re sure you’ll be using it regularly, or if it stores well.
Step 3 – Preparation is Key
Consider dedicating a day to cook a batch of meals you can use for the coming week, or even freeze to use over several weeks. Investing in a quality set of airtight containers to use for freezing is an excellent idea.
Use cast iron cookware like Dutch ovens and casserole dishes to make larger quantities of one-pot meals or sauces. Divide it into portions and freeze it. It’s great to get home after a long day at work knowing you can just heat and eat!
Make food preservation part of your preparation. Fermenting, pickling, drying, curing, and canning are all ways to prevent food waste. Too many ripe apples? Make some applesauce! Carrots going bad? Pickle them!
Step 4 – Stretch Meals
Leftovers are food too! To avoid forgetting about leftovers in the refrigerator, store it in clear glass containers.
If you often have leftovers, consider dedicating a day to use up anything that’s accumulated in a meal. This will save you money and time. All you need is a little creativity!
Leftover roast chicken from Sunday? Use it to make a pasta bake on Monday. Extra roasted veggies in the fridge? Mash them up, add some flour and an egg, form it into burger patties, and fry in a bit of coconut oil. It’s delicious and healthy!
Step 5 -Make Friends With Your Blender
Smoothies and soups are not only packed with nutrients, they’re also an excellent way to reduce food waste. Whether it’s fruit or veggies, blend it into something nutritious and delicious.
Don’t throw out overripe bananas or wilted herbs, or broccoli stalks, they’ll add nutrition and flavor to smoothies and soups. You could even thicken sauces with root vegetables.
By using the stems, peels, and ends of produce, you’ll get more fiber and nutrients in, while avoiding throwing out parts that would otherwise be wasted.
Did you know you can make a delicious butternut squash soup without peeling the squash? Simply remove the seeds and you’re good to go!
Today is a Great Day to Begin
There are so many ways for every single person to reduce, reuse, and recycle food waste. These tips are practical and achievable and will help you to save time and money while you do your part to create positive change in the world!
If everyone makes the effort to reduce their personal contribution to food waste, it will make a difference. Look at your home with new eyes and start today!