Food waste is a serious problem in the U.S.. Here are 4 easy ways to reduce food waste at home, starting today…
The holidays are often a time of excess, especially when it comes to food. We indulge in all kinds of treats throughout the holiday season, and often purchase more of just about everything – including food – than we do during the rest of the year.
All this excess usually leads to waste, and this is especially true when it comes to food. Holiday leftovers seem stale and uninteresting after a couple of days, and often end up in the trash. Cooking too much for a party means lots of food gets thrown out after the guests leave.
Yes, food waste is a HUGE problem in the U.S., contributing to clogged landfills, carbon dioxide emissions, and millions of wasted dollars every year.
Did you know that almost half of all food produced for consumption in the U.S. is wasted? This is a complete travesty, when you think of all the land, water, nutrients, energy, labor, and money that goes into producing and delivering this food to consumers like you and me throughout the country! Food waste is a serious problem, and we all need to take steps to do something about it.
Here are 4 easy ideas from CashTheChecks.com to reduce food waste in your household year-round:
1.) Ignore Expiration Dates
You are smarter than the “best if used by” tag on the bread you bought. Use your own best judgement to recognize if something has spoiled yet.
Look at it, smell it, cut it open, taste it. If it passes all of those tests, that food is good enough to eat.
Remember, retailers have an incentive to setting pre-emptive expiration dates – they want you to come back and buy it again sooner!
2.) Store Your Food Properly
In order to reduce food waste in your home, you also need to store your food the right way.
• Transport them carefully
When loading items to you car, be careful not to squish sensitive items like cookies or soft fruit. If you do, your picky housemates might not want to eat those afterward.
• Organize your refrigerator
When you are putting items away in your refrigerator, don’t just put the new items in front and shove the older ones backward. If you do, the older ones are destined to become food waste.
• Put your items away as soon as you get home
Your milk and eggs have been in your shopping cart for half an hour and the hot car for another half hour. Don’t let these items sit out any longer than they have to.
• Put other non-fridge items in the fridge
Items like tortillas, bread, and avocados won’t spoil as quick when placed in the refrigerator. You can extend their shelf life by weeks by placing them in the fridge.
• Place items in sealed plastic containers
Some food items, like fruits and veggies that are cut in half, also tend to keep better when placed in airtight containers.
3.) Eat Imperfect Fruits and Vegetables
Guess what? You won’t die if you eat a banana with some brown on the peel – or an apple with a spot in it!
If a piece of a veggie or a fruit has gone bad, just cut that part off. It’s much better than throwing the whole thing out.
Many items we all throw away every day are salvageable. The only exception here is a serious mold issue.
Extend this further to your grocery store shopping habits. If you see a sad tomato that you need for your dinner today, reduce food waste and save that tomato from the landfill! A little wrinkly skin or dent never hurt anyone.
4.) Plan Your Meals
When you have a meal plan set in place, you know what you are going to eat and when you are going to eat it. Leave little to no room in deviation from this food schedule.
This way, when going to the grocery store, you know what you need every week – and what you don’t.
When you have no meal plan for the week, you are bound to throw food away. If you are serious about wanting to reduce food waste in your household, you need to have a meal plan.
Bonus: Planning out your meals in advance rather than just grabbing whatever you see (or worse – fast food) is also a great way to eat healthier!
Grab This FREE Clean Eating Meal Plan to Get You Started…