If you’re fed up with the excess food in your home, there are many ways to reduce the amount of food that ends up in the trash. The first step to reduce food waste is to make a grocery list and stick to it. Organizing your pantry will help you identify what you need and can eat immediately. Using the “FIFO” principle, or first-in-first-out, will also help you avoid buying more food than you need.
For example, if you have a lot of bananas in your refrigerator, peel them and save the brown ones for making banana bread. You can use vegetable stock from wilting vegetables. In addition, you can blend almost-expired produce to create delicious alternatives. Blended vegetables can be turned into smoothies or salad dressings, and leftover chicken bones, winter squash peels, and apple cores can be made into stock.
Many people discard off-spec produce because it doesn’t look attractive. Rather than throwing it out, consider using it instead. Up to 35% of off-spec produce can be used for cooking, and can even be salvaged from farms. Freezing locally-grown food also helps reduce food waste. Many residents also find that freezing leftovers helps them last longer. By incorporating a meal plan into their weekly schedule, they can make the most of the meals they prepare.
A third of the food produced in the US is wasted or discarded, costing the consumer an average of $1,350 to $2,275 a year. Food waste causes enormous problems, as it ends up in landfills, which produce methane gas, which is a greenhouse gas that exacerbates climate change. By learning to reduce food waste and reducing its cost, you can help the environment and your pocketbook at the same time.