I hate wasting food, and I try to avoid it at all costs, especially since North America is a big culprit for food waste. According to the NRDC there has been a 50% rise in food waste since the 70s, with Americans throwing out 40% of their food supply – now that includes restaurants and grocery stores and every single person in America, which can make the task of cutting down food waste a bit daunting. Luckily, everyone can do a little something to make a big difference when it comes to food waste, and here are 10 tips to help you out:
- Track what you throw away: First things first, (I’m the realest) in order to see what you end up throwing away or any wasteful habits you may have developed, write down everything you throw away for a few weeks, see if you notice any habits, or any foods that you frequently end up tossing.
- Plan ahead: make a meal plan for a few days in advance and be sure to use a grocery list when your shop, which will help reduce impulse buys.
- Buy only what you need: bulk sections are great for this, buying in bulk usually refers to buying a lot, but I have often times grabbed maybe a ¼ cup of pecans, or the tiniest amount of cranberries – just enough for whatever I’m making. This also means buying less, more often. I have my pantry stocked on big grocery trips but I’ll often run out to the store a couple times a week for anything perishable like fruit and vegetables.
- FIFO: which stands for first in, first out, a system used by most restaurants and grocery stores. Basically, when you restock your fridge of pantry bring everything old to the front, and put the new stuff at the back so you are more likely to use up the old stuff first.
- Store food properly: airtight containers to keep crackers fresh, storing fresh herbs with a bit of water, refrigerate what needs to be refrigerated – foods will usually be labeled with proper storing directions, but when in doubt Google it.
- Freeze: Pizza, veggies, pies, baked goods, sauces, stews, soups – you can freeze almost anything, so if you think something may go bad before you get a chance to eat it just freeze it, you can always defrost it later.