Do you have a habit of throwing out unwanted food? When you dispose of edible food, not only are you throwing away money, but this practice causes strain to our natural resources. Whether it’s a product you’ve decided you don’t like or something you bought too much of, there are a few different things you can do to keep this food out of the landfill.
Donate To a Food Bank
One of the best ways to prevent food waste is to avoid throwing
out food. If your pantry has items that you no longer want to eat, don’t throw
them away. Instead, donate these items to others who may need them. Food
pantries collect a variety of items and make them available to the community.
If you find it challenging to get your items to the collection point, there may
be organizations, such as Community Food Runners, that can pick the
food up and deliver it to the food bank.
Stick To a List When You Shop
Once you donate food to a pantry, the next thing to consider is
not purchasing as much food when you shop. Instead of buying large amounts of
items that you cannot consume in a timely fashion, only buy what you need until
your next shopping trip. The easiest way to accomplish this is by writing a
list before you set foot in the store. Sticking to the list ensures you only purchase what you need, and you are
less likely to end up with waste.
Store Fresh Produce To Keep it From Rotting
Fresh fruits and vegetables only last a few days before they begin
to rot. When you shop and stick to your list, you shouldn’t have more than you
need for the week. However, if your menu changes, you may be left with a lot of
produce in the fridge. The best way to keep fruits and veggies from rotting so
quickly is to store them properly as soon as you bring them home from the
store. Each fruit and vegetable may have different storage suggestions, so get familiar
with the best way to keep your most commonly used produce.
Use Older Food First
If you have an emergency stockpile of food, it’s important to
use those items before they go bad. Check through your stash and pick out foods
that are close to their expiration dates. Keep note of what you have removed
from your supply so you can replenish them with new items. By rotating out the
old supply, you prevent the need to toss out expired food, reducing your food
waste. If you have things you aren’t interested in cooking, donate food items to a
local food bank,
Compost Your Food Scraps
When you cook with a lot of produce, you have another
opportunity to cut down on food waste. Instead of putting the scraps into the
trash can or down the drain, create a compost pile. Composting turns the scraps
into fertilizer instead of adding to the landfill. This fertilizer is great for
growing new crops.
Cook With Your Left-Overs
While it’s always a good idea to only cook what you think you
and your family will eat, you may have a meal that not everyone eats. Instead
of tossing this food at the end of the day, keep it for future meals. Leftovers
make great lunches or dinners for later in the week. You can also repurpose the
remnants and create a whole new meal.
Reducing food waste makes an impact on the environment as well
as your pocketbook. Try a few of the above suggestions to see what works best
for your household.