6 Ways to Reduce Food Waste

Filed in Uncategorized by on October 28, 2020 0 Comments
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how to reduce food waste myzerowasteI wanted to revisit the topic of food waste because stories during lockdown made me realise that people still don’t understand the value of food.

At the beginning of the pandemic, there were stories in the press about people stock piling food and supermarket shelves were empty. A few weeks later, there were stories of mountains of food waste, as that stock piled food went off before being eaten.

It’s estimated that around 40 million tons of food are thrown away each year in the US. While this might be a serious environmental issue, it also has other profound consequences. For example, this costs the US economy around $160 billion.

With one in nine people going hungry each day and issues of food scarcity on the horizon, it’s time for all of us to waste less food.

Here are some simple ideas

1.      Shopping Smart

Reducing food waste starts before you get to the checkout by only purchasing the items you need. Plus, you need to consider when foods will need using up by. Many fresh foods such as fruit, vegetables and meat won’t last too long at home. Whereas tinned and packet goods can often last for a long time. In some cases, you can still use them after several years in the pantry.

Try to get the longest-life foods, so you have more time to eat them. It’s also worth remembering the difference between a use-by date and a best before date. Once food passes a use-by date, you shouldn’t eat it, as it could be a risk to health. If you have a best before date, however, food is still safe to consume, though the taste, texture and appearance might have deteriorated.

2.      Store Food In The Right Place

Another way of reducing the amount of food that goes off is by making sure that you’re storing it in the right place. Bananas should be kept away from other fresh foods, because they give off a gas that causes other fruits to ripen too quickly. Potatoes need to be stored in the dark to stop them going green or sprouting. Check the temperature of your fridge too, so foods in there last as long as possible. By paying attention to where foods are meant to be stored, you’ll be able to extend their life, while reducing food waste.

3.      Compost Your Waste

The next tip is to reduce the amount of food that you cannot eat, such as vegetable peelings, pips, stalks, egg shells and unavoidable plate waste. By adding them to the compost, you’ll be able to break them down. Then, you’ll be able to spread the compost onto your garden. There are many types of composting systems for you to explore. This can range from a compact worm farm to a bigger compost patch. The right one for you will often depend on how much waste you produce and how much space you have available.

4.      Choose Your Kitchen Gadgets Wisely

To live a zero-waste lifestyle, you only buy what you need, and that includes all those ‘must have’ kitchen gadgets! Before you buy, take an honest look at your cooking and eating habits.

A good example is a slow cooker. You will be able to use this to cook healthy stews and soups. This can be a great way of using vegetables that might be a little past their prime. Also, you’ll be able to use lower-quality cuts of meat, to save money.

Another helpful gadget is a blender. This can be a great way to increase the number of fresh fruits and vegetables that you consume.

If you’re big meat eaters, you might consider something a bit different like a bone grinder. This can be a great way to find a productive way to deal with bones and enable you to buy cheaper cuts of meat. For example, you’ll be able to turn soft bones into a fine powder. From there, you can add it as a supplement to dog food. To make sure that the bones are safe for your dog, you’ll need to steam them before you grind them. To find more information about the benefits of grinding bones, and to get great advice about picking the best device for you, check out this electric grinders for bones compilation.

5.      Donate To Food Banks

As hard as we try, there can still be times when we purchase too much food. In this case, it’s important to make sure that you’re giving it to someone who will put it to good use. Donating to a food bank, or using a food sharing app ensures that the food will be able to go to the people who need it. If you don’t know where your local food bank is you can use the FeedingAmerica.org website or the Trussell Trust for the UK.

6.      Use Coffee Grounds For Fertilizer

When making your morning coffee, you’ll want to make sure that you retain the grounds. These can be a great source of nutrients for plants. You can spread them out through the garden. In other cases, you might want to put them into your compost. Or read this post for 11 ideas.

What about you? Have you made any changes to your food waste since lockdown?

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

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