Food waste is one of the biggest causes of environmental problems in the United States and other parts of the world. The cost of food waste in industrialized countries is estimated to be $680 billion. A growing number of organizations are encouraging consumers to minimize waste to slow the progression of climate change.
Consumers should know what steps to take. There are a lot of ideas that have been shared by experts from the University of Berkeley and other researchers.
Every year, people throw away a lot of food. There is a huge environmental impact from food waste. One third of the world’s total agricultural area is dedicated to wasted food. Since 13% of the global carbon footprint is caused by agriculture, this suggests that nearly 5% of the carbon footprint is caused by food waste.
Here are some of the top ways to reduce food waste.
1. Check Your Fridge Temperature
Make sure your food temperature is kept between 0 and 5 degrees Celsius. This recommendation is especially important for milk, because it will become bad faster if it’s warmer.
2. Use Your Fridge the Right Way
Some of your foods will thrive well outside the fridge. For instance, don’t store your bread inside the fridge. Rather, you should keep it in a cool and dark place. An ideal place would be a cupboard or bread bin. Other types of foods that should be stored outside the fridge include onions, pineapples, bananas and potatoes.
3. Stick to Your Shopping List
Make a shopping list and keep it in your kitchen. You can add items to it when you need to and follow it when you go shopping. Always plan ahead when going shopping and have specific meals in mind when it comes to food preparation.
4. Water Your Veggies
The stems of your vegetables such as celery, broccoli and asparagus should be stored in water. That way, they can remain crisp and fresh for a long time.
5. Freeze Any Extra Fruits
Do you have any extra fresh fruit that you are not planning to eat any time soon? Well, you can freeze them and keep them fresh for a while longer. When frozen, some fruit will lose their texture. However, you can avoid this by freezing them when stewed or pureed. Vacuum seal bags to freeze and make more room in your freezer – read more on this in-depth guide from Foodal.
You can do this to tomatoes and use the puree for pizza or pasta dishes. Also, you can freeze your strawberries then use the puree in smoothies or make it a sauce for other fresh fruit. Apples can also be frozen and the stewed option can be used on your porridge or muesli. Even better, you can use it as the base for a fruit crumble.
6. Freeze Your Leftovers
You can freeze your leftovers and any fast food. If you have sauces with other meals such as rice or pasta, you can freeze them separately for the best results.
7. Always Measure Your Portions
Reduce food wastage by cooking the exact amount of food you need. Any extra food will be frozen.
8. Sauces and Dips
You can make sauces or dips from your leftovers. For instance, if you have leftover pulses or beans, you can blend or mash them with lemon juice, garlic and herbs to create a dip similar to hummus. For baked beans, make sure you rinse them thoroughly before doing this. You can make guacamole from slightly over-ripe avocados Tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers can be used to make home-made salsa.
9. Freeze Your Dairy Products
Skimmed and semi-skimmed milk freezes much better than whole milk. Once defrosted, it’s likely going to separate so you can shake it properly before using. Make sure you freeze hard cheese too but cut it into smaller portions or grate it for the best results.
10. Revive Past-it Bread
Do you have bread rolls that have passed their expiry date? You can put them in the oven for a few minutes before they become crisp again. Create breadcrumbs from stale bread by mixing with herbs and onions. You can use them as stuffing when making chicken or to top up baked fish. Even better, you can freeze breadcrumbs to use later.
Bread loaves can also freeze properly. If you bought them from an in-store bakery, put them into a freezer bag for the best results. Don’t freeze them in the packaging they come in because it will not work properly.
Save the Environment by Getting Rid of Food Waste
Food waste is one of the biggest causes of environmental problems. You should take all possible steps to reduce your food waste to ensure the environment is stable.