One of the highly neglected waste products is food wastes. We might not notice it that much inside our homes, but that’s true. It is a fact that 35% of the total food produced in the whole world makes up the wastage. Be it on our home’s dining table, and even restaurants and food stalls generate this problem. Food waste is a bigger problem than many people realize. Food waste does not only pertain to those we have left over in our plates.
It also includes the portions that we don’t need with cooking and preparation. Which were then directly trashed on to our garbage bins. There’s a lot that we generate unconsciously. You might think that this problem does not affect you. But tossing the food is not just about the wasted money. Leftovers and the discarded food are sent to landfills, where it gets decomposed. This process produces methane gas. In a shorter word, it contributes to climate change.
We can solve this problem, by starting inside our homes. Check as we share tips on how to avoid food waste.
1. Shop Smart — Don’t Overshop.
Whenever we go to the supermarket, the tendency is that we shop too much. This might sound good to some. But realistically this leads to more spoilage into our grocery items. The advisable shopping duration for consumable food is actually once a week. This practice gives you the privilege to shop and use fresh items for your food preparation. Using fresher vegetables and meat leads to zero-percent food waste. Which is because it is more likely for you to use the whole portion of it. Instead of just throwing away those dark spots you have on your not-so-fresh fruits or vegetables. Shop smart, and plan your shopping properly. Shop the meals you have in mind – it makes you throw lesser away.
2. Adjust your refrigerator’s temperature accordingly.
Yes, our refrigerators hold a key position in avoiding our food wastes at home. There are certain products which require a proper temperature setting for them to last longer. Check the packaging of our food items to know what is their actual chilling temperature. Dairy products, fruits and vegetables, and even meat have their specific temperature requirement. The advisable temperature inside our freezers where we store meat and frozen products is -1.5 degrees Celsius. While inside the chiller where we store most of our daily consumables like milk and vegetables, it is good to maintain an average of 2 degrees Celsius. Take note that if the fridge is not properly adjusting on your desired temperature, be sure to have it checked or repaired. Following the proper way to keep them will make them last longer. This leads to the zero-waste production of our food items.
3. Be innovative with your leftovers.
Dealing with leftovers is an everyday dilemma of mommies. It is too impractical to throw food away if unconsumed. So for you to minimize the amount of food waste, be innovative. Find other ways on how to recreate or repurpose your leftovers. You can check the internet on how to use them for your next recipe that your family will surely love. This is not only helpful to the environment. As it also helps you save more on your monthly budget by maximizing the food your serve. You use that uneaten porkchop as a part of your sandwich filling. Or those leftover steamed rice for your next fried rice recipe. All you need is creativity and the guts to check the internet for newer cooking lessons. But also make sure that before you use the leftovers, is that it should still be edible, and good for consumption.
4. Do not over-serve food.
It is always nice to see a bountiful plate. But doing such is still an impractical manner when it comes to waste management and budget. As a household owner, it is your responsibility to assess what you and your family members can consume. Because over serving leads to more leftovers, and leads to more wastes. So to be more practical, check the appetite of those people dining with you, for you to gauge the amount of food you will prepare. You can also try the small-plate approach.
This practice tells that in every meal, it more effective to use a smaller plate to make the meal bigger. By the looks of it, people can say that they are having a full plate which is more filling. Rather than using a large plate which has more spaces. It makes people think that the food portions are smaller. By doing such, you can maximize what you serve. It all gets consumed –lesser waste.
5. Practice the art of preservation and repurposing.
This tip tells that you should know on how to preserve some specific kitchen items.
- Pickling is one of the best ways on how to preserve. This is a practice used up even on the earlier civilizations. It keeps the shelf life of different food products longer while giving it a new life.
- Salting: salt is one of the commonly used kitchen staples to add flavor to our food. But it is also used to preserve food like meat, and fish. Rubbing salt into our meat will make it last longer.
- Sun drying: If you overshop food, especially fish it is advisable to sun dry them for preservation. You just have to clean them well, add salt, and they let them dry under the sun for a couple of days. This process can make your fishes last even up to 6 months.
Repurposing, on the other hand, means making a new product out of the old one. This is very good for those fruits and vegetables near their spoilage date, You can use a food processor to create a sauce or another recipe. So instead of dumping them out into the bin, why not create your homemade mango sauce. It just depends on how creative you are! You have your blender, then try using it.
The importance of food is not only about the nutrition that we take when we eat them. But the production of it alone gives life to those people who work in the food industry. So the next time you throw things away, just think of the farmers. Just imagine the hardships of fishermen. And even yourself. The time you spent at work just to buy those foods. Be practical, and avoid food waste.