Food waste is the biggest problem of today, but most of us do not realize it. Food waste contributes to the greatest emissions of gases. That is why it is necessary to reduce the amount of surplus waste generated from food. But how to reduce food waste. Read on to learn more about it.
The main culprit for food waste generation is the large corporations that are continuously contributing to it. However, we can still take part at the individual level to reduce waste by taking different steps.
Here in this article, you will learn about how to reduce food waste and which steps to take at homes and workplaces.
1. Buy less
This is just a simple rule. You may adopt it while purchasing your groceries. Only purchase what you need. Avoid buying too much food as it may lead to the generation of more waste.
It sounds very appealing to fill up the fridge with extra food, but not everyone can eat that much food.
It is good to manage several short visits to the grocery store to purchase what you need. Instead of bulking up your refrigerator – only buy a few items at a time.
2. Do not throw away every food item
We all check the best before or expiry dates of our food items. But that doesn’t mean every product that has reached its best before date is eligible for throwing away.
You may still use them to make different recipes. Think about the stale bread – you may still toast it.
Think twice about the softened greens – you can still add them to your soups or make chutneys or pesto.
3. Make a grocery list
It is good to make a grocery list before purchasing your groceries. This procedure may contribute to reducing food waste. If something is surplus, you do not need to purchase it.
Only purchase your food items when you are running out of them. Avoid buying unnecessary food items – it will help you reduce food waste.
4. Store your food properly
Fresh fruits and vegetables need to be stored in a proper way to make them long-lasting. Keep your cooked meals refrigerated. If you do not want to eat certain cooked items, you must freeze them.
Similarly, use paper bags to store green vegetables, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Do not place your cooked food on shelves, especially in summer. Always store your food in sealed containers in the refrigerator.
According to US EPA, some fruits like bananas and apples give off natural gases. These gases may spoil the nearby food items or other fruits. It is good to store all these fruits and vegetables in a proper way to make the other food items long-lasting.
5. Make weekly meal plans
Some people love to make weekly meal plans. It is one of the best ways to reduce food waste. Whether you are at home or the office – weekly meal plans will help you save your time, effort, and money spent on food buying and preparation.
You may need a few weeks to get used to it, but once you are done with a proper weekly meal plan, it will be much easier for you to plan grocery shopping accordingly. Ultimately it will help reduce waste.
6. Freeze your extra food
Freezing extra food is one of the excellent methods to minimize food waste and increase the shelf life of food products.
You can even freeze seasonal fruits and vegetables. From meat and bread to cooked dishes, there are plenty of food items you may freeze and use later.
7. Do not throw away leftovers
Leftover food must go into the refrigerator. Spare one to two days to eat leftover food in your fridge or freezer to minimize the waste. It will reduce the effort to cook the food and help you reduce waste.
8. Try out food preservation methods
People have used food preservation methods for centuries. If you have accidentally purchased extra food and are unsure what to do, you must properly store them to avoid spoilage.
For example, you may make pickles with cucumbers, dill, mango, green chilies, and garlic. There are plenty of other options to make the pickles with vegetables.
Similarly, you can dry out your meat ad use it later.
Make jams with fresh fruits like apples, berries, oranges, and peaches.
You can pickle almost everything, so try out different methods to preserve your food to add taste to your food and increase its shelf life.
9. Make stock with leftover
Instead of throwing away bones, food scraps, and other ingredients, it is good to make broth and stock with them.
Do not throw away vegetable peelings, chicken carcass, skin, bones, and other ingredients. Boil, strain, and cool them. You may use them instantly or freeze them to increase their shelf life.
10. Turn your food waste into compost
Every day, we throw away a bunch of leaves, peels, food scraps, coffee grounds, and other food products.
You may turn them into a useful product called compost. It is an excellent method for increasing soil fertility while also reducing food waste.
Where this food is wasted?
Almost 20-40% of fruits and vegetables that do not meet the requirements of larger grocery stores or marketplace are dumped even before they are transported to them.
Some food items are wasted during their transportation.
In developed countries, the food that has passed its best before date makes up the greatest portion of food waste. It is dumped both by the markets and individuals at home.
Leftover, uneaten, uncooked, spoiled, softened herbs and vegetables are binned.
What are the benefits of reducing food waste?
There are plenty of benefits of reducing food waste:
Reducing food waste help the environment significantly by reducing the need for land, water, fertilizers, and other resources to grow them. It also helps the environment by keeping the waste away from landfills.
According to the World Resources Institute, cutting food waste in half would significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Reducing waste also benefit people by saving their money from purchasing extra food items.
Making weekly plans not only reduces waste but also helps individuals in improving their healthy eating habits.
This process conserves the energy and resources that are involved in growing, harvesting, transporting, packing, and selling food.
Mainly, larger corporations are responsible for increasing food waste – however, individuals may still take a few steps to reduce food waste to make a big difference.
Check out different methods to reduce food waste and benefit your environment. Create a healthy future for all by adopting different practices to minimize food waste.