Earth Day 2017 – Strategies to help you to Reduce Food Waste and put Some Green back into your Pocket
With Earth Day coming up on Saturday, April 22, I can't think of a better time for us to commit to making at least one change to reduce our food waste. We don’t set out to waste food but it happens. If we make small changes in how we shop, store and make our meals, we can toss less, eat better, simplify our lives and save some money. Below are some tips to help you think differently about how you shop and food prep.
Plan and shop with your meals in mind. Plan out what you will be eating from now till your next shopping trip. Always shop your kitchen first so that you only buy what you need and plan meals around what you have.
The best way to waste food and waste money is to buy it and not have a plan for how you are going to use it.
Inventory your freezer and pantry once a month.
Schedule time once per month to inventory your kitchen. Set up a reminder on your calendar and do it before you go to the grocery store. This is a great way to use up ingredients that you have in your freezer and not overbuy what you have stored in your pantry.
Make a shopping list and stick to it.
I think this can be the hardest to follow. When you don’t stick to your list and what you have planned for, you are more likely to spend more money and increase the chance of wasting more food.
Savvy Food Prep
Make a Herb Bouquet
Take your herb bunch that you purchased from the grocery store. Basil, cilantro, and parsley are the ones that we use most often. Cut off the tips of the stems and place in a mason jar with 1 – 2 inches of cool water; remove discolored or brown leaves. Place the jar on the counter in a lit area but out of direct sunlight. Change the water every few days or when it becomes cloudy. Your herbs can stay fresh for 1 to 3 weeks.
Use see-through storage containers
Glass containers or mason jars are perfect for storing cooked grains, roasted veggies, pre-cut veggies and fruit, leftovers… If you can’t see what is a container you are more than likely to forget what it is.
Keeping fruit out and visible makes it more likely that it will be eaten and less likely to hunt for a crappy snack.
Salvage your fruit & veggies
Spotting on your veggies and fruit are signs that they may be getting a little to ripe but that doesn't mean it's time to toss. Consider the following to save that food.
Avocados – Once they are ripe, store in the refrigerator fruit/veggie bin.
Cauliflower that has brown specks – just cut off the bad spots, cook, then mash or puree it. Pureed veggies are easy to freeze.
Brown bananas - Banana freeze really well and can be used in a smoothie or for banana ice cream.
Basil is turning brown, turn it into pesto
Apples that have soft or mushy spots can be tossed into a crockpot or pressure cooker to make applesauce. That applesauce can be frozen as well.
“You waste life when you waste good food”
Hello! I'm Jori Zimmerman, a nutritionist and owner of Nutrition Savvy. I work with individuals that are looking to make dietary and lifestyle changes that will lead them to living a healthier and higher quality of life.