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Reducing Food Waste: Tips and Tricks for a Zero-Waste Kitchen

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Why is Reducing Food Waste Important?

Food waste is a global issue that affects not only the environment but also our pockets and the world’s economy. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, about one-third of the world’s food gets lost or wasted every year, equating to 1.3 billion tonnes. This wastage can lead to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as the wastage of the food leads to the wastage of resources, including water, land, and energy used throughout the process. Furthermore, the wasted food leads to inefficient use of resources, such as soil degradation and the overuse of fertilizers and pesticides, leading to adverse environmental impacts. Lastly, food waste costs us money; according to the United States Department of Agriculture, the average amount spent on wasted food in a year per household is $1,800.

Plan Your Meals

Planning is the first step towards preventing food waste. Before purchasing any food, check your refrigerator and cupboards to avoid buying what you already have. Creating a weekly meal plan and grocery list help to avoid impulse purchases and overspending. Meal planning also helps to minimize food waste by planning recipes that use ingredients with a shorter shelf life first. For instance, rather than letting fruits and vegetables go bad, plan a meal that involves them for the first few days of the week.

Store Food Properly

Another important aspect of reducing food waste is proper storage. Improper storage can lead to food spoilage, leading to wastage. Store food in the appropriate container, and keep them in the fridge or freezer within two hours. Utilize your refrigerator wisely by filling it with items you will eat. Remove items that will not get eaten on time to avoid spoilage. For instance, rather than cutting herbs and leaving them in their bundles, store them in jars or containers with water to extend their life.

Use All Your Food

Using up all your groceries can be a challenging task when you have limited experience. However, with a little creativity, you can turn food scraps into delicious meals and reduce your food waste. Scraps such as vegetable peels, bones, and even stale bread can all be turned into soups, stews, and stocks. Freeze scraps until you are ready to use them, and keep a bag or container specifically for food scraps. Furthermore, fruits that have begun to brown can be used to make smoothies or baked goods.

Get Creative with Leftovers

Instead of throwing out leftovers, use them to make new meals. Leftovers can be used to make sandwiches, salads, and smoothies. Furthermore, you can repurpose leftovers into a new batch of soup or chili. Transforming leftovers enables you to save money and divert food waste while getting creative and enjoying a delicious meal.

Buy Local and Eat Seasonally

Buying local and seasonal produce helps to reduce food waste by providing the opportunity to purchase only what is needed, in turn preventing excess waste. Furthermore, local and seasonal produce tends to have a shorter journey time, thus decreasing the carbon footprint associated with food production and transportation. Shopping locally also supports small-scale farmers and the local economy.

Final Thoughts

Reducing food waste is an essential step we can all take towards achieving a more sustainable planet. By planning our meals, storing food properly, utilizing all our food scraps, and getting creative with leftovers, we can reduce our waste and save money while supporting local farmers and protecting the environment. Enhance your study and broaden your understanding of the subject by exploring this thoughtfully chosen external material., discover new perspectives and additional information!

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