Don't contribute to world hunger; learn how you can reduce waste in your household starting today!
10 Easy Ways To Reduce Wasted Food
A report released by the UN states that if the world reduced its food waste by a quarter (25%), there would be enough to feed every malnourished, starving person in both developing and developed countries.
That doesn't seem like such a large amount, does it? And it's not, except when you consider that 1.3 billion tons in food is wasted each year. Now THAT's a large amount.
The report cites the differences between food loss and food waste in developing countries in Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia and developed countries in North America and Europe.
- Food loss is unintentional wastage caused by poor equipment, transportation and infrastructure.
- Food waste is the intentional wastage of food such as when households throw out food because they have purchased too much or when supermarkets throw out produce because it doesn't meet their aesthetic standards.
In developing countries, intentional food waste is only 15-16%, whereas in developed countries, wastage is anywhere from 30-40%.
As the world population continues to grow, so does concern over food waste. In March 2015, France passed an unprecedented food waste law that forbade grocery stores from throwing out food and instead mandated they donate food to charities or farmers.
What do you think about this law? Should it be illegal for grocery stores to throw out food? Do you think more countries will follow in France's footsteps?
While food waste is defined as intentional wastage, I don't think anyone ever really buys food just to waste it. Food waste is usually the result of overbuying and dining out (we know, because we've played a part in food wastage too, but not anymore!). We think you'd agree, so to help you throw out less and do your part to decrease the overall amount of food wasted in the world, we've listed 10 easy ways you can reduce food wastage in your household.
Don't contribute to world hunger; reduce your household's food waste!
Read the full UN report here.
For a brief summary of the report, check out this article by The Guardian.
How To Reduce Food Waste
Below are easy tips you can implement in your daily life to waste less and do more! Don't feel guilty, just make these quick and simple changes!
- Buy LESS and go to the grocery store MORE.
- We recently wrote an article about how bulk shopping creates more waste, so instead of buying everything in one run, buy ONLY WHAT YOU NEED and shop more often.
- Shop smart.
- We get it – there are snacks to be gotten, darnit, and we're going to get them. But more often than not, we end up getting WAY more than we intended. So, the next time you go to the grocery store, HAVE A PLAN. Write a list, plan your meals and know EXACTLY what you're going to get. This will reduce the amount of hop-ons you find in your cart.
- Give all produce a chance.
- More often than not, funny-looking produce isn't selected. We're suckers for aesthetics, aren't we? So, instead of leaving that oddly-shaped cabbage in the bin, grab it, because if you don't, grocery stores will throw it away. And don't worry about looks – a weird dent here and there won't change the taste or nutritional value of your produce! We promise!
- If you've ever worked in the food service industry, you'll know that this is one of the first things you learn on the job. What does FIFO stand for? First In, First Out. This means that you should rotate your produce according to when you bought it. So, that apple you bought 2 weeks ago should be consumed before the one you bought yesterday. Be diligent about rotating your produce because more often than not, we forget it's even there and by the time we remember, it's already gone to waste.
- Keep track of what you're consistently throwing away.
- For the longest time, I bought cucumbers every time I went grocery shopping. Why? Oh, I had the fancy notion that I would use them in salads and smoothies. That never happened and when it came time to clean my fridge, I was ALWAYS. THROWING. AWAY. CUCUMBER. The moral of this story? Keep track of what you're consistently throwing out. If you notice that the same food item is being thrown away, don't buy it anymore!
- I recommend getting a whiteboard to put on your fridge. That way, you can keep a written account of what's being thrown out. (Whiteboards are about $5 at Target or $2 at Wal-Mart.)
- Eat leftovers.
- I know, I know – leftovers are a touchy subject. Some people don't mind them and others would rather come down with the bubonic plague than eat their leftovers. But folks, not eating leftovers is one of the biggest ways households contribute to food wastage, so instead of seeing them as “leftovers,” see them as lunch for tomorrow! Or a night of not having to cook dinner! Yay!
- Use everything.
- Some vegetables like beets and carrots have greens that most people toss out. Instead of throwing them away, cut them up, use them to make homemade vegetable stock, or toss them into your salads. EVERYTHING can be used and NOTHING should be wasted.
- Preserve produce and dry goods well.
- By making a one-time investment in quality Tupperware like Pyrex, you'll be able to save more money on food and reduce your waste. Even if you can't store everything in Tupperware, use wilting produce in smoothies, to make gazpacho or, our favorite, stock! You can even preserve herbs by freezing them into ice cube trays. Once you're ready to use them, all you have to do is let them thaw and voila, fresh herbs!
- Learn the truth about expiration dates.
- A lot of people go by the expiration dates and that's great – to an extent. A better test of whether or not food has gone sour is to SMELL IT. It's been shown that most expiration dates have nothing to do with food quality; instead they're the manufacturer's suggested date for peak quality. So, before you go by the date on the package, smell it first.
- It may seem like a hassle at first, but once you start composting, you won't be able to stop. Compost is not only the best way to reduce food waste, it's a great way to get free soil! If you have a garden (we recently started growing our own produce indoors), you'll appreciate having all-natural, pesticide-free soil at your disposal.
This is only a small list of the many inexhaustible ways you can reduce food waste in your household! Don't think of it as a complete overhaul, but more as tips that can be eased into your daily routine.
Do you have a tip for reducing food waste? How does your household measure up to others? Let us know in the Comments section below!
- How Millenials Are Shaping The Future Of Food
- Weekday Meal Planning – The Easy Way!
- What Are You Making For Dinner Tonight?
Don’t forget to keep in touch, foodies!
Sign up for our daily newsletter here!
Do you have Instagram? Don’t forget to follow @HomemadeRecipesOfficial.
Click here to Like Us on Facebook.
Click here to Follow Homemade Recipes on Pinterest
ora exacta says
Right away I am going to do my breakfast, afterward having my breakfast
coming over again to read additional news.