How to Reduce Food Waste?
Did you know that nearly half of all food produced annually is lost due to waste? That’s 1.3 billion tons of food annually! The average Canadian throws away up to 700$ a year worth of food. Reducing the amount of food you waste is beneficial not only to the planet, but to your wallet as well! Here are some tips to get you started:
Be a smart shopper
Plan ahead and make a shopping list. The more you plan out what you’re eating and when, the better you will be able to buy the right quantities, thus reducing waste. With good organization, you should be able to determine which foods should go straight to the freezer, and which ones should be used to prepare your next meals before they spoil.
Use your freezer!
Nearly all foods can be frozen for up to 6 months.
Meat (raw/cooked) and leftovers: These foods won’t last in the fridge for more than 4 days. If you don’t plan on eating them over the next couple days, freeze them in an airtight container or bag and use later to prepare another meal!
Fruits: Wash and peel the fruits that are about to overripe before you freeze them. Use them in smoothies, yogurt toppings, muffins, etc.
Vegetables: If you’re going to use them in a soup, you can just wash and dice them before freezing. If you want to be able to just defrost and eat, you should blanch them first.
Bread: You may freeze bread directly in its original packaging. Once thawed, it’s as good as when you bought it!
Learn to recycle food
Another way to cut down on waste is to learn how to use food that’s already going bad. Here are a few ideas:
– Browned apples are perfect to make applesauce and apple pies, but this really works for all fruits;
– Make breadcrumbs or croutons with stale bread or even the crusts that nobody eats. They have a long shelf-life and are useful for making other recipes;
– Use old vegetables to make a lovely cream soup. Once they’re all blended up, you’ll never be able to tell they were turning soggy, and the combination of different vegetables enhances flavours!
These were just a few ideas to help you waste less food. Make it a challenge this week; the planet and your wallet will thank you!
Stefanie Rosser, P.Dt.
David Suzuki Foundation. ¬Help End Food Waste. http://www.davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/food-and-our-planet/help-end-food-waste/
LAVALLÉE, Bernard. Sauver la planète une bouchée à la fois, Éditions La Presse, 2015.
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