Food waste doesn’t seem like such a bad thing in many households. We forget about things, they spoil, and sometimes we just can’t finish such big servings. Whatever the reason, it’s important to know that food waste does, in fact, contribute to pollution and global warming.
Every year, about 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted, with another huge percentage contributing to global warming as rotting food decomposes and releases methane. These numbers add on to the already worsening issue of climate change.
To fight this problem, we can always start at home. Here are a couple tips to reduce your food waste.
Grocery lists and meal plans are a must
The best way to lessen food waste? Avoid it altogether. Grocery lists and meal plans are great ways for you to know what you’ll be eating in the week and what you don’t need. Now this doesn’t mean every single ingredient or meal has to be planned out, but it does help to have a list of dishes you want to eat before you go grocery shopping so you can cut out unnecessary buys.
Clean out the fridge regularly
Cleaning out your fridge and reorganizing products (i.e. putting older or about-to-spoil food in the front) can help reduce food waste greatly. Many families make the mistake of overstocking their refrigerators, causing many other foods and leftovers to be hidden in the back. When you clean out your fridge and cut down on food that you don’t eat or need, you’ll be able to see these leftovers and older foods much easier, reducing the chance of waste.
Google the right storage tricks
It may be tempting to just stick everything you get from the grocery into the fridge right away, but believe it or not, there are actually specific storage tips you can utilize to ensure your products last longer. For example, carrots and broccoli can actually be submerged in a glass of water in the fridge; this technique can make your veggies last weeks longer!
Get creative with leftovers
Who says leftovers are meant to be thrown away? You can actually brush up on your chef skills by combining them to create a totally new dish. Didn’t finish cutting up your onion? Throw them into an omelette with tomatoes and leftover veggies. Bought too many leeks? Whip up a classic potato leek soup. Cooking is a versatile art, and you have the power to make anything you want with whatever you want.
The freezer is your best friend
If you know that you can’t consume a certain food fast enough, it’s best to leave it in the freezer. Freezers slow down the growth of microorganisms, which consequently slows down the rotting process. You can actually freeze herbs and leafy greens into ice cubes and plastic bags for longer usage — they can last up to months!