How to Reduce Food Waste at Home
Did you know that in the United States alone, 30-40 percent of all food produced goes to waste? The secret to minimizing food waste could lie in how you prepare your food.
Here are some household tips and tricks to bring your home one step closer to zero food waste.
The practice of composting has grown in popularity over the years due to its ability to minimize greenhouse gas emissions while also creating nutrients for crops. Even if you don’t grow crops, compost in your own backyard, deliver it to a local community garden, or send it to a local compost collector. To find a local compost pick-up facility, visit Find a Composter. To learn more about how to compost, check out our latest blog post Composting 101.
Freeze extra food
Almost 1/3 of food produced globally goes to waste, fruits and vegetables accounting for a large percentage of the food that goes to waste. Freezing food, especially vegetables/fruits, can save money, trips to the grocery store and minimize food waste. It is best to freeze produce when it’s still fresh. The most sustainable containers to use for freezing are glass jars or silicone storage bags.
Food preservation – sauces, stocks, pickles, jams
Use excess produce to create flavor-packed jams, sauces, pickles, and stocks. These preserved foods are especially tasty during off-seasons when it might be harder to find seasonal favorites.
After purchasing fresh ingredients, it is important to prepare them so they can last as long as possible. Learning how to ideally store fresh produce so it can be consumed over an extended period can reduce your household’s food waste.
Consume imperfect produce!
Almost 20% of fresh produce gets disposed of purely due to cosmetic reasons. Visit a local farmers market and ask for the “ugly” or misshapen produce that might not get sold. You can also check out delivery services like Imperfect Foods and Misfits Markets that sell sustainably sourced, imperfect groceries at low costs. Visit our Sustainable Grocery Shopping blog post for more information.
Organize your fridge and pantry
Using your food before it goes to waste is all a matter of organization. Throughout the week, move foods that need to be eaten first to the front of your pantry or fridge.
Understand the label
Did you know that 20% of household food waste is due to misleading food labels? This can add up to $300-$500 a year. Food products often have sell by or best by dates that are arbitrary. Some non-perishable foods can be safely consumed following their “best by” date, mitigating food waste. It’s helpful to understand food labels to determine whether a food is safe to consume. Learn more here.
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