When we’re trying to reduce our carbon footprint, it’s natural to focus on the obvious. Cars, plastic, coal, and cattle farming are all among some of the most potent threats to the Earth. Which is why so much attention is paid to recycling, the banning of single use plastics, electric cars, and plant-based diets.
However, there is another problem to which we all contribute: food wastage. A report in 2016 showed that about 50% of all produce is the United States goes to waste. Not only does it cost us $160 billion a year, but it is, of course, harmful to the environment.
Why are we so guilty of food wastage? Well, it comes down to a combination of a lack of planning and, perhaps, being overly aspirational. Instead of planning and buying what we actually are going to need, we buy either what looks delicious in the moment or what we hope we’ll get around to cooking into a healthy meal.
The good news is that there are easy ways to prevent food wastage that you can start implementing right away.
Meal kit delivery services
The emergence of meal kit delivery services is ideal in a number of ways, as you can see in this Home Chef review. Meal kits come with the exact amount of food we’re going to need for each meal. There are a number of options specifically geared towards being environmentally friendly. And not only does it save us money, but it also saves us the stress of preparing a meal from scratch.
Environmentally friendly options source their ingredients from environmentally responsible farms. Even when you’re eating beef, it comes from a farm doing its part to reduce its carbon footprint (and to treat their animals ethically).
Meal planning tools
Meal kit delivery services might not appeal to you for whatever reason. Even if they do, you’re probably not going to use them every day. To solve the problem of wastage, meal planning needs to be an essential part of your weekend routine. Only by planning your meals can you ensure that you only buy the produce you’ll actually use and will make the most out of what you’ve already got.
Meal planning isn’t easy if you’ve never done it before but, like with everything else these days, there’s an app for that. There are a number of tools available online that will help you plan your meals effectively, so that you have exactly what you need every week.
Eat a good breakfast (and lunch)
How can eating breakfast help prevent food wastage? Simple. When you eat a good, healthy breakfast, you don’t need a big dinner at the end of the day. This is especially true if you eat a consistent lunch as well. The thing is, dinner ingredients are the ones that tend to go off or expire. Breakfast foods in particular can last for months.
I’m not saying that you should necessarily eat small dinners. However, with dinner as a balanced part of your daily diet, rather than the main gastronomic event, it no longer needs to be disproportionately big.
Food wastage is a real problem in the US. It’s probably a real problem for you too. Stick to your meal plans, buy responsibly, and help save tons of good produce.