Reduce Food Waste and Save Money This Summer
Tips on reducing your environmental impact and the amount of food that goes in the trash
There’s nothing more disheartening than having to discard food that is past its sell-by date. A third of all food produced worldwide ends up in the landfill and this accounts for 20% of methane gas emissions. There are many ways to tweak your consumption and meal planning that will help reduce the amount of food you send to the landfill. Less waste for you means money saved and a lower impact on the environment.
Pack your Fridge Properly
Packing your fridge correctly helps to prevent food waste. Avoid placing dairy products in the door—put them at the back of the fridge where it is coldest. Reserve the fridge door for things like salad dressing as the vinegar in these will help to preserve them for longer.
Lunch meats should go in the deli drawer as it’s colder there and veggies should go in the bottom where the temperature and humidity are best suited to keeping them fresh for longer.
Cook with your Phone
If that zucchini looks unappetising sitting on the shelf, find inspiration and new meal ideas online. There are a number of apps that can take the ingredients you have in your fridge and create amazing recipes. Some to try out are Recipes by Ingredients, Supercook, and Epicurious.
Make a List, Check it Twice
Planning meals and making shopping lists aren’t exactly fun activities, but they really do work. Plan your weekly meals with leftovers for lunch and make a list that you stick to. Check your fridge for ingredients you already have and stipulate quantities so you don’t overbuy.
Don’t go shopping when you are hungry or you will spend more and buy more high-calorie foods. Is there an app for this? Of course there is! Cooksmart, Pepperplate, Ziplist and Plan to Eat will help you to plan meals and create shopping lists that are accurate.
Pickling and canning are wonderful ways to keep food for longer periods. Its surprisingly easy and you can create wonderful treats to enjoy or share as gifts. All you’ll need is a large pot, some jars and tongs. Get a guide to beginner pickling here and to canning here.
If you realise you won’t finish all the fruit or vegetables in your fridge, you can chop them up and freeze them. Frozen fruit is perfect for smoothies while veggies can be steamed, boiled or used in soups and stews. Get a guide to blanching vegetables for freezing here.
Some food wastage is inevitable and if you must throw out food, consider getting a composter. This will prevent food from ending up in the landfill and will provide your garden with a healthy, organic source of compost.
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