Consumers are responsible for 30% of the world’s food waste, so by changing our food habits, we can do good for ourselves and the planet. “We can all do our part to make a difference,” says Marion Nestle, a food justice advocate and professor at New York University.
Environmental blogger Tippi Thole agrees. “Reducing your waste is something you can see the benefits of doing it right away. It’s very empowering.” This is particularly important at a time when most of us feel helpless in the face of climate change. The following ideas can help you reduce household food waste.
1- Plan your meals
Planning what you will eat at meals weekly and including strategies about what can be done with leftovers in this plan is the most effective way to prevent food waste.
2- Make lists
Shopping lists make it easy to get exactly what you need and lighten excess in the fridge. It is also an important tip to do both the list and the shopping when you are full, it is very possible that you will be mistaken that you need much more when you are hungry!
3- Organize your kitchen
Keep your cupboards, fridge and pantry organized so you can easily see what’s on hand. This prevents you from purchasing items you already own.
4- ‘Choose ‘open’ products
One of the good ways to get what you need is to buy foods like nuts, grains, and spices in open aisles.
Write dates on food in your fridge, freezer and refrigerator. This eliminates guesswork about how long an item is stored and prevents good food from being thrown away.
6- limit leftovers and eat
We leave about 17 percent of every restaurant meal on our plate, and we take less than half of the rest home with us. Consider sharing a portion of the meal with the table, or order only things you know you can finish while eating. Thole recommends keeping the leftovers in your refrigerator in a visible location so you don’t forget to eat them.
7- change your perspective
Do not be afraid of unexpected food combinations. “When we have a lot of uneaten leftovers, my son and I like to eat them in buffet style,” says Thole. “It allows us to consume our weekly meals in a fun way.” Besides, do not waste your food by saying this is inedible.
8- store correctly
Learn to freeze, refrigerate, can and preserve effectively and safely. Make sure that the temperature of your refrigerator is the right setting and store food in the most effective way.
9- the two-hour rule
Do not leave perishable food outside at room temperature for more than two hours. When the air temperature is above 32 degrees, the limit is one hour.
10- Do not wash the fruits
Fruits and vegetables stored after washing deteriorate much more quickly. Only clean the vegetables and fruits you have stored without washing them when you are going to eat them.
One in five harvested vegetables and fruits are wasted because they do not meet industry appearance standards, but these “ugly” crops can taste as good as their cosmetically approved counterparts and are often even cheaper. Sometimes it is possible to find defective products in a section in the neighborhood market.
12- cook zero waste
Look for ways to cook without wasting any part of the material you use. Teach yourself zero waste cooking skills. Many traditional cooking techniques use whole parts of an animal or vegetable. Even just collecting the vegetable stems and skins and boiling them with vegetable juice is a good way to reduce food waste.
You can prepare a natural fertilizer by properly collecting organic waste in the house, and you can feed various plants in your garden or balcony with this fertilizer.
14- Share the prize
If you have a lot of pumpkins in your garden or you have a lot of non-perishable food in your pantry, you can look into ways to donate them to a local institution.
Heidi Wachter. “14 Tips to Reduce Household Food Waste”. Retrieved from: https://experiencelife.lifetime.life/article/14-tips-to-reduce-household-food-waste/ (11.05.2021).