A significant amount of the food we buy ends up going to waste. That’s an unfortunate reality of living someplace where food is plentiful, and if we want to reduce our environmental impact and ensure that we are not contributing to food shortages, we can look for ways to reduce the amount of food waste that we are responsible for.
1. Only Buy What You Need
Probably the biggest contributor to food waste in America is people buying in bulk or buying more than they need at once. There are so many sales to take advantage of that it can be difficult to pass over them.
You can feel like you’re missing out if you don’t grab those deals when they are available, but what you often end up doing is wasting food that that you purchased close to its expiry date or that you forget you have in your cupboards.
By the time you get around to eating it, it’s already gone bad and needs to be tossed out.
2. Rotate Your Food
This is something that grocery stores do already, but a lot of families don’t bother to rotate their older stock forward and push the newer stock to the back.
The biggest way this can be done is by using leftovers rather than allowing them to go bad in the fridge or cupboard. You can also do this when you bring groceries home.
Simply put the new food in the back and pull the old food to the front. This way, the older food that is closer to its expiry date will be used first.
3. Store Your Food Correctly
A lot of food is wasted simply because it’s not properly taken care of. Packages are not sealed airtight and foods that should be refrigerated are not refrigerated.
One of the best ways to preserve your food and keep it from going bad in storage is to freeze anything that can be frozen. Even fresh bread you don’t use right away can be frozen and saved for later.
Many of the fruits and vegetables you use can be blanched and frozen as well for long term storage. If it looks like something is going to go bad before you can use it, simply research how to store it in your freezer to get more life out of it.
4. Use All the Parts Of Your Food
A lot of edible components in our food are tossed in the trash. Those bones we get rid of after we eat fried chicken could actually be saved and used to make bone broth.
The rinds for many fruits and vegetables can be used as well, blended up in the smoothies, used for soup, and used in other ways as well. Look for uses for every part of your food; you will likely be surprised how many foods you throw away and food parts you toss out that can actually be used to make something else.
5. Be Careful with Portion Sizes
One way we tend to waste food is by putting too much food on our plate. If you find out that you can’t eat it all, what happens to the extra food on your plate? A lot of the times, it goes straight into the trash.
It’s completely wasted when it could just be saved for later. It’s smarter to serve yourself smaller portion sizes and then add more food by going back for seconds, if you really need it.
6. Shop Smart
Do you pay attention to the expiration dates when you go to buy food? If not, you could be putting yourself and your family at risk and you could be setting yourself up for food wastage.
Do you consider how soon you will be able to use the food that you buy? When you purchase fresh fruits and vegetables or perishables like dairy products, are you thinking about how long it will take you to use the entire package or product?
Keep these things in mind as you shop so that you waste less food and spend less money.
Food wastage is a problem that many of us contribute to, and we can all do our part to help avoid it and cut back on how much food is being wasted. By making simple changes by purchasing and using food smartly, we can make better use of the food we have.