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3 Easy Ways to Prevent Food Wastage

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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.

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1 COMMENT

  1. There is truly no universal or unique answer to food waste, because we all have different life styles or ages or tastes. One of the best way to eliminate food waste is probably to learn how to cook, because no matter how you plan your meals, there is always a neighbor or friend giving you extra produce, opportunities to buy cheap food in bulk or on sale, scavenging, and the best laid plans of mice and men, well, you know the saying.

    I cook every day, because I like it a lot, I find it soothing, and I can express my creativity, like recently inventing a half cabbage quiche. It means that I buy the best looking produce and cook it rather than plan a meal and then buy the corresponding planned produce that may not be at its best or cheap the day I shop. It also means that when I cook, I often freeze some of the portions or leftovers, for when I don’t have the time or mood to cook. If you know how to cook, you won’t have any waste in the fridge. Soups are really great for that, it’s the most important part of supper (yes, this word comes from the French “soupe”) during 6 months around winter. I don’t even bother peeling carrots, turnips or parsnips if they are clean enough after brushing and washing, and it does not take much more time to prepare and cook 12 portions than it would for 2. We switch to cold mixed salads or small hot dishes for the remaining 6 months.

    Storing breakfast cereals “for months” is definitely not a benefit to me. First, they don’t contain any true fresh vitamins or food stuff, it’s mostly raw starch and sugar, with some artificial vitamins, iron and stuff. Who wants to eat this junk food when you can have fresh bread and butter and jam if you really need the calories for the first half of the day? Basically, these cereals are just the glorified version of the feed meal they give to chicken to fatten them. Absolutely no gastronomical or quality nutritive interest. An apple or a half red grapefruit is often enough for my computer worker needs until real lunch.

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