Tips To Reduce Food Waste

    A huge amount, 40% of the food produced and sold in the US ends up as waste. 

    Restaurants are the largest contributor to that number, with grocery stores not far behind.

    However, in our homes about 3.5 pounds of food is wasted per person each week. Uneaten leftovers, limp vegetables and spoiled foods are the main culprits of this waste.

    Even though we compost organic waste in our house, there is still an economic and environmental cost to that food that ends up as waste. A little extra effort to ensure that we are not purchasing more than we need, and taking proper care of what we have, can reduce those costs.

    Here are some tips that have helped us reduce food waste at home:

    #1 Meal Planning

    It is important to have a plan.

    Break down the week, take stock of all the meals that your family will eat at home, including school and work lunches. Then make a shopping list and only buy what you need.

    If you find yourself throwing out food at the end of the week, adjust your meal plan for the next week to avoid that waste.

    Of course it is ok to buy extra, but make sure that any extra will not go to waste. I always keep extra dry goods, canned goods, and frozen items, for those unexpected times when I can not get to the store, or have any surprises during the week. But I keep tighter control over the perishable items to prevent waste.

    The freezer is also something important to utilize. You can successfully freeze leftovers, either entire meal portions, or extra sauces and sides that might not get eaten before they start to spoil. Then include those frozen leftovers in next week’s meal plan.

    #2 Make Your Bread Last Longer

    Hey, who doesn’t love bread?

    In our house, one of our favorite breads is Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin Bread.

    This bread is as healthy as it gets.

    It’s made from Organic Sprouted Wheat, Filtered Water, Organic Raisins, Organic Sprouted Barley, Organic Sprouted Millet, Organic Malted Barley, Organic Sprouted Lentils,and more. 

    But most importantly, it’s DELICIOUS!

    And it’s the perfect bread for living a zero waste lifestyle because it freezes well. I just throw the entire loaf in the freezer. Then separate a slice or two with a butter knife and pop it in my toaster oven to add to my breakfast in the morning. With a bit of butter it’s unbelievable.

    In fact, freezing bread, any bread, then defrosting it or toasting it by the slice as you need it is a great way to keep sliced bread from going bad and not wasting any.

    I do the same thing with herbs I’ve grown in my garden. After picking them, I store them in a ziplock bag and toss them in the freezer so I can enjoy fresh herbs from the garden all year long.

    #3 Want Longer Lasting Fruit & Produce?

    Keeping produce fresh can be just as easy, but freezing your strawberries is a terrible idea.

    Instead, I’ve recently discovered an ingenious container that keeps fruit and produce as fresh as the day you bought it. It even works for organic veggies and fruits. Keeping them fresh for almost 2 weeks!

    You can get the same set I use. The FreshWorks Produce Saver (one medium and one large for $14.99) from Amazon. These containers keep moisture away from produce to reduce spoilage.

    #4 Canning Vegetables

    Canning vegetables is a great way to preserve a harvest and enjoy your favorite seasonal vegetables all year long.

    There are some rules you need to follow in order to make sure that your canned vegetables remain properly preserved and prevent bacterial growth that will spoil the food. Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving is an excellent resource for all your canning needs.

    Of course you will also need some canning equipment. These jars are an excellent place to start.

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