Did you know that 33% of all food produced globally is lost or wasted every year? That’s a lot of food! All the food we waste represents a nutritious meal that could have been provided to someone in need. Additionally, when we waste food, we are also wasting the resources, such as water, energy, land, and dirt, that play a role in growing that food. Addressing the food waste issue is an essential part of building healthier communities!
To raise awareness, Stop Food Waste Day is celebrated on April 28th! You can find out more about Stop Food Waste Day on their website.
Here are 10 ways that you can reduce food waste:
1. Avoid buying in bulk.
A key to reducing food waste is to shop smart for your groceries. Although it may be convenient to do a big grocery store haul every few weeks, this actually contributes to a lot of food waste. We tend to buy a lot of food that we don’t need! Bulk shopping can also lead to a higher likelihood of your food expiring. Going to the grocery store more frequently and buying less during these trips can play a large role in reducing the food waste in your home. A good tip is to finish all of the food you bought previously before making another trip to the grocery store!
2. Create a meal schedule.
Planning what recipes you want to make for that week can be super helpful in reducing food waste. If you are the type of person who likes to eat different meals every day, you can plan to make a smaller serving so you don’t have leftovers. When you plan ahead, you can determine exactly what groceries you need from the store and how much of everything you may need. This will help you from overbuying! Try to create a habit of sticking to your grocery list at the store!
Here’s a 5 Day Meal Plan using HealthStart dinner recipes targeted for a family of 4! By planning out how much each meal serves, you can figure out when you’ll need to cook a new dish, and you can prepare the ingredients you might need for that week!
3. Try to save leftovers.
Sometimes, we get super full after eating a delicious meal, and we are left with lots of food. Try not to throw that food away! Instead, you can store your leftovers in a container and pop them into the fridge to eat the next day. Remember to check that you don’t have any more leftover food in the fridge before making something new to reduce your food waste! Keeping your fridge organized is an excellent way to help you remember that you still have that leftover food!
4. Store your food correctly.
When you buy produce, research where to store these foods in your home to make sure that they don’t ripen and spoil too quickly. Some fruits and vegetables are better stored at room temperature, and some are better stored in the refrigerator. Additionally, read the labels of food and follow any suggested storing instructions!