How to reduce food waste in your diet
How can we make something as boring as leftovers interesting? In recent studies, it was discovered that out of twenty-two food groups, the most commonly disposed of items in households were fruits and vegetables by 39%. The most disposed item was dairy at 17%, followed by meat products at 14%.
“Higher quality diets have greater amounts of fruits and vegetables, which are being wasted in greater quantities than other food,” says co-author Meredith Niles, a University of Vermont assistant professor. “Eating healthy is important, and brings many benefits, but as we pursue these diets, we must think much more consciously about food waste.” NY post.
HOW TO MANAGE YOUR RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN DIET AND THE AMOUNT OF FOOD YOU WASTE
Food Waste is a buzz term that has been growing in popularity. The growing buzz caught the attention of consumers to their local supermarkets, encouraging sellers to be more “eco-friendly” to gain a reputation for good food. And guess what? People are cashing in for the greener product. For example, restaurants and supermarkets have more vegetarian and vegan options for meals than ever before. (meat production is one of the largest sources of methane into the atmosphere). It’s true that animal products take a significantly heavier toll on the environment, and acquire more resources. However, the general waste amount of animal products are significantly lower than those of plant waste and produce. Plant waste often spoils faster. According to a study done by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the most commonly discarded food items are roots and beets, in comparison to the animal products that take more resources to make.
The Food Footprint
This graphic shows the flip-flop relationship food has with our environment. It’s true that animal products require more resources from the environment, along with the land area and time to produce. It is is water costly and terrible for the environment. In comparison, plant produce also needs measurable resources. If we waste more plant produce than animals, how do we measure our resources to understand our food footprint?
Can someone have a flexible and varying diet, with an acceptable footprint for the climate? The answer is yes, as long as you know how to measure your food footprint. In this article, we are going to guide you by looking into resources and examining the main reasons people displace food and produce in their homes (and in businesses)
A large problem we have regarding food waste is actually behavioral. In fact, most people don’t know how to properly select ready food at supermarkets, or correctly store food in their home. We can examine a list of shopping behaviors and produce knowledge to find out exactly how long your food will be good for.
Food has value for longer than you may think! Here are some tips to limit tossing food away, and to get every penny on what you spend at the store.
What to buy, when to buy your food
Get ready to get a better bang for your buck when you’re buying food! But first, ask yourself “What do I want to eat this week?” and create a plan. To save and avoid food waste, you must to avoid buying what you don’t need. Planning meals allows us to know what ingredients we may need for a week. For example, grains and starches take longer to expire. These can easily be bought in bulk and last a long time, often costing significantly less than smaller packages. (you’ll also have less wrapping waste! Whoo-hoo!). Be sure to store these grains and starches items in dark areas. (They don’t need to be refrigerated. Examples of Grains/starches(ex. Rice, Oats, Barley, flour, buckwheat, Black Beans, and Lentils).
Produce has a lower lifespan than grains. You may buy produce once of twice a week to make sure items are fresh enough to be eaten. Most people think produce is only safe to use until the “best by” dates. However, the truth is almost all produce is still edible even after this. Don’t mix ‘Best by’ dates with expiration dates. Often times these dates are used for stores to help control stock items and when they are best. But that doesn’t actually make the food item itself already perishable! By planning your meals throughout the week, you can measure and decide what produce you will need that week and avoid buying excess produce.
Imagine the options of using leftovers with lost food items in your fridge! Below you can read more about what food solutions you can do with excess leftovers. These fun creative ideas will reinvent the food you eat, while the produce is still okay to use. See some of our easy recipes here.
When you unload your groceries into the fridge, do you have a special order of food? Have you ever placed slow perishable items in the refridgerator only because you thought it would last longer?
We have all been guilty of misplacing and incorrectly storing our food. Perhaps we have placed potatoes in the fridge thinking they may last longer, or forget about the delicate cherries or raspberries that we placed in the back, that go bad too quickly. You’re not alone. We have all been guilty of this. But now we will teach you which food actually makes a difference in life span if stored correctly. There are a few food items you may be storing away into a fridge that may not belong there!
Restaurants are also tackling the problem with food waste by getting chefs to act creatively within the kitchen. They have gained nationwide attention for theming their restaurant using only recycled foods just within the past two years. These chefs are creating a business gain that consumers are catching on fast too. The good news is, this can also be tried at home! Leftovers can be made into a new delicious dish, and we are going to show you how.
See how this restaurant went trash free.
Welcome To Food Waste Tech
Technologies and business solutions reducing food waste
Lower your carbon footprint by what we do everyday, eating. Find out what you can do to Join our set of webinars today to find out what we can do to lower your food waste and cut costs to business.
Welcome To Food Waste TechTechnologies and business solutions reducing food waste
Lower your carbon footprint by what we do everyday, eating. Find out what you can do to Join our set of webinars today to find out what we can do to lower your food waste and cut costs to business.JOIN WEBINAR
Delicious Food From The Back of Your Refrigerator
Food going older doesn’t mean going bad! Here are a few tips to try in your house to make food last longer, and have a yummy solution from perishable items.
Optimize your kitchen space, and make your food last longer! Get creative with leftovers! This will help you find out:
- Which foods to store in dark places,
- Which foods belong in your fridge
- Where to store your food in the fridge.
You will end up feeling more organized, and empowered! Make your food last, and begin to plan how you would like to eat it!
spinach or kale are dense in nutrients and at times costly in a supermarket. Unfortunately, these are often some of the first food items that can lose their crisp. When near the perishable time, the leaves often don’t look the most optimal for a salad. But they are often still edible and loaded with nutrients for your body! Try using incorporating them into a smoothie or soup! It won’t add any bad flavor and will increase the nutritional value or your next on-the-go meal! If you have large amounts of these greens in storage, they can also be frozen then used for soups or sauces.
Bananas are clean, on the go and easily transportable to many countries where fruits aren’t so readily available. Although they are quick to turn brown, this is actually when they are at their sweetest. These brown bananas can be readily used as a healthy substitute for any sort of baked good, or be used in Banana Pancakes, dessert puddings, and delicious Banana Bread. If this sounds nice, but you’re tight on time, put them in the freezer, and don’t worry about the dark-colored peel, the insides are still nutritious!
3. Other fruits
Fruits or veggies losing their crunch? Throw them into smoothies at the end date! Many grocery stores sell berry and frozen fruit packages to make smoothies, why not try using the leftovers you have at home? Vegetables and fruits can be combined for a loaded vitamin material within smoothies.
4. Other Vegetables or Fruits
If not in a smoothie is to use them in a soup or create delicious sauces. Apples and peaches can always be heated up and sprinted with cinnamon for a good sauce or cobbler to be eaten alone for dessert or used as a topping.
Tomatoes can always be thrown into a soup for some extra flavor or slice onto some bread. If getting old. throw them in a blender with cucumbers, green peppers, onions and some jalapeño then add lime juice and garlic to create a gazpacho!
When they are not as crunchy anymore, improvise and go for a zucchini pasta or lasagna! These are a guilt free and healthy alternative to everyday pasta and some delicious recipes that can be used this way. Treat yourself and eat as much as you want.
5. Pickle it
If it is a Produce, it can probably be picked (Just ask your grandma). Peppers, Cucumbers, strawberries, cherries. This is a great way to store food in wintertime or for people living grandparents time and If you or one of your grandparents has grown up on a farm you are probably used to seeing these jars
Orange juice or tropical juices can be added with some fruit. Try to create a delicious beverage along with a morning breakfast or for a snack. Don’t be afraid to add these elements together.
Even spoiled milk has its own use! Although generally, milk is okay to drink a few days after the expiration date. Sour milk can still be used in baked goods. Still interested? Try alternative kinds of milk last longer with a lower expiration date, Such as almond Milk. It’s tasty and will give you more options for use avoiding any animal bacteria that can cause sickness after the expiration date.
Eggs are one of the more long-lasting shelf items. If you have no immediate plans to eat eggs coming up to the expiration date: Just boil them! They are nutritious on-the-go snack and can be used immediately in any salad that is being made or on yours. Once they are boiled, their life span will increase even more
Placing bread in a refrigerator will not make it last longer. However, try to keep it stored and sealed out of the light. Natural bread without any preservatives spoils a lot faster. Because bread is delicious and throwing any of it away would be just sad. Instead, turn these stale pieces into croutons or toast.
See some ideas that may work in your kitchen? Try using #theleftoverproject to showcase yours before and after for the food in your house.
In conclusion, food requires a lot of energy to create, and our idea of perishing food is often wrong! Keep these ideas in mind the next time you are going through your leftover food. You never know what creative recipes could come from it!
“I simply believe food is too good to throw away. And Christmas leftovers can be a gastronomic opportunity for the well skilled kitchen forager. With a little imagination, there are a million ways to use up leftovers rather than to bin them.” – Tristram Stuart, Food Waste Campaigner.