How to Eat Right and Reduce Food Waste
Did you know, it’s estimated that Americans throw away billions of pounds of food each year? This number doesn’t even include foods that are unsold from the grocery store or crops that are left in the fields.
Food waste is a significant problem in the US that you can help change. By taking charge of your own kitchen and living a more sustainable, healthy lifestyle, you can not only make a huge difference in the environment but also save money while doing it.
Ways to Eat Healthily and Sustainably
Below are a few steps you can integrate into your routine to minimize food waste and live a healthier lifestyle.
Plan Meals Around Food You Already Have
In the rush of life, it is easy to forget what we already have in our fridge, pantry, or freezer. For many people, it is easy to quickly come up with recipes and meals for the week on the way to the grocery store rather than planning them out ahead of time. Unfortunately, this habit can often result in buying something you already have or even something you don’t need. To reduce food waste and save yourself money, try to look through the food you already have at home before going to the grocery store. Additionally, try to only buy the amount of perishable food that can be eaten or frozen within the next couple of days. Perishable foods that can go bad quickly include fruits, vegetables, dairy, and meats, among others.
Get Creative with Leftovers
Leftovers can easily be transformed into a new meal — all it takes is a little creativity.
Here are a few ways to reinvent or repurpose your leftovers:
- Use overripe bananas to bake into banana bread.
- Have leftover rice? Throw it in the pan with some eggs and vegetables for a quick and delicious fried rice.
- Pack your leftover dinner in a thermos or airtight container and use it the next day for your lunch at work.
- Do you often have produce that goes bad? Start a compost pile and use it in your garden.
- Cooked too much food? Invite a friend or neighbor over for dinner and share your meal!
These are just a few of the ways that you can save food and reduce waste. All it takes is mindfulness and a little creativity to make the most of your food supply!
Other Ways to Reduce Food Waste
In addition to taking note of food you already have and reinventing your leftovers, here are some other ways to reduce food waste
- Determine appropriate portions
- Learn to can or dehydrate produce
- Store foods that spoil quickly in the front of the fridge or highly visible places like the kitchen counter
- Organize fridge for optimum sight of available produce
- Donate extra non-perishable foods to a local food pantry or shelter
As you can see, it’s not hard to take a couple of steps to reduce your food waste. With a little knowledge and creativity, we can all minimize the amount of food wasted each year.