food waste

6 Ways to Reduce Food Waste at Home

According to research, up to 50% of food grown on the planet never reaches a human stomach. Supermarkets demand ‘perfect’ produce which means much of it gets rejected at source, manufacturers continue to use ‘Best before’ dates which confuse consumers and householders are buying and cooking too much food which ends up being wasted.

Many people think it’s ok to throw food in the landfill; it’s biodegradable so they believe it will break down without creating problems.  The trouble is, it’s pretty airless in the bottom of a landfill site! In the absence of oxygen, biodegradable materials such as food decompose and produce methane gas, which contributes to global warming.

And while we’re wasting so much food, the World Health Organization tell us that one-third of the world is well-fed, one-third is under-fed while one-third is starving and every year 15 million children die of hunger.

food waste

Not only does it seem unfair to waste so much food while others starve, but with concerns about a future ‘food crisis’ and the harmful effects of throwing food in landfill sites, it makes sense for us to reduce food waste. Not only that, but you’ll save money – imagine knocking a third off your weekly food bill!

If you want to stop wasting food and start saving resources and money, here are some tips to reduce food waste:

1. Menu plan

Think about the meals your family enjoys most, make a menu plan for the week and write a list of the ingredients you need.  Stick to your list when you shop!

Food waste is common if family members have different food preferences and diet plans. Your household tends to generate more food waste if you don’t know the preferences of your family members. But you don’t have to stick to just one meal-for-all preparation. One way to resolve food waste is by creating a menu plan.

It’s important to be aware of your family member’s diet plans, especially for athletes, fitness enthusiasts, the elderly, and sick loved ones. Creating a one-week menu plan is advisable if you’re on a special diet, such as keto or the OMAD diet. In this way, you can adhere to it without worrying about what meal to serve daily while reducing food waste in the process.

2. Use up your leftovers

View today’s leftovers as tomorrow’s ingredients and base your meals around the things you already have at home. Soft vegetables can be made into soup or pasta sauces. Over ripe fruits can be made into pies or blended to make smoothies. Half a tin of tuna could be tonight’s pasta bake.

Be creative and innovative when using leftovers. But ensure to determine when food is close to spoilage to prevent food poisoning. Experts highly recommend reheating leftovers only once. Proper storage and cooking preparation must be followed. When reheating food, ensure that it’s entirely hot to destroy bacteria for safe consumption and good long-term health.

food waste reduction
Food waste is the largest waste stream in a hotel

3. Don’t shop when hungry

If you shop when you’re hungry, you’ll be tempted to buy all sorts of things you don’t need! So, make sure you’re full to resist adding too many food items to your cart. In addition, don’t forget to bring your grocery list to avoid impulsive buying.

4. Take an inventory

For one week write down everything you throw away. Look for patterns and see where you can reduce food waste. Make use of ingredient bins for storage of surplus food-related stuff.

5. Check your fridge

Check the seals are good and the temperature is set between 1 and 5 degrees. This ensures your fridge will keep your food fresh for as long as possible.

thermostat fridge

6. Portion control

Instead of scraping food off plates into the bin, encourage your family to take small portion with the knowledge that they can come back for more. Any leftovers can be covered and stored in the ‘fridge and used the following day.

Rachelle Strauss

Originally posted 2016-08-08 16:46:49. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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