7 Tips for Reducing Food Waste and Living a More Sustainable Life

List making

Did you know that 40% of all food produced in the world gets wasted?
That equates to $1 trillion worth of food every year. The reality is, we waste tons of money and resources when it comes to our food production- but there are a lot of ways you can help to reduce your contribution by following these tips!

Plan Your Meals

It’s always a good idea to decide on what meals you will cook for the week before you take a trip down the supermarket. By creating a weekly food plan, you can identify whether you have some or none of the ingredients in your fridge, freezer or food cupboards. You can then create a list, recording what you need to buy to make up those meals. Once you are in the supermarket stick to your list,which you can get more advice about by clicking the link.

It will not only save you time in the supermarket, but it will also help you reduce your food bill because you will only be purchasing what you need for the week.

You will also notice that it will save you time and money in the kitchen, making you less likely to throw things out that you impulsively bought due to the item being on offer and you didn’t end up using it before the use by date.

Freeze vegetables

A freezer is a great way to store vegetables, even those you might collect from your garden, for example, carrots, beans and diced onions. Click here to find out How to store vegetables in the freezer

Cook the Right Serving Amounts

Salad

If you’re cooking for two, consider cutting the recipe in half if you do not want to eat the same food the next day or you can not think of another recipe to make with possible leftovers.

Buy vegetables and fruit labelled “Wonkie Veg and Fruit.”

For quite a few years now, supermarkets have introduced new measures to improve their sustainability. One of their measures is to sell and label odd shaped but perfectly edible fruit and vegetables as Wonkie because of their imperfections, which would otherwise get discarded. Now, don’t be put off by the shape and size of these veggies because these are great ways to save money. I buy these vegetables because I want to improve my sustainability, and it gives me great satisfaction knowing that I am doing my part.

Know where to store your food 
Picture of a pantry

Get the most out of your purchases. Know what should be stored correctly from day one, so they don’t get ruined before their time!
There is a right way and a wrong place to store each item that you purchase.

For example, did you know that Eggs must be stored at room temperature and not in the fridge? Think about it when you go into the supermarket, what aisles do you find the eggs placed? You will find that they are at room temperature, so why do we still go back home and store them inside the fridge door compartment? And in the first place, why is there an egg holder in the fridge door compartment?

For shelf-stable foods like mayonnaise that are not refrigerated until opening them, keep out of the fridge.

Preserve vegetables and Fruit
Fruits preserved in a jar

You might think that cabbage is only for salads. But have you tried making it into sauerkraut? It is a great way to preserve or pickle and make the most of vegetables before they expire! To extend the shelf life of some vegetables, consider pickling them. It can help you create different dishes.

Know the difference between the use-by dates and Best before dates

It’s not uncommon for fresh food to be good well past the date it’s made. People don’t know this, but most expiration dates are more about when stores need to sell the by than any safety warning for customers.

Many foods indeed have an “expiration” or a “sell-by” date on their packaging and cans; however, these labels refer specifically to retailers who must remove them from shelves if they remain unsold after some prearranged amount of time has passed.

What few realize is that just because something expires doesn’t mean you should throw out your groceries! Most canned goods will keep safely in storage at cool temperatures until as long as seven days after their original sale day.

It is also important to remember the difference between use-by dates and best before dates on packaging. Best before dates mean that these foods are still edible even way after the date stated but will taste better eaten before that date. Do not be tempted to throw away any best before foods because they are still edible after this date. I would be cautious of use by dates because things like watercress or spinach tend to get rotten.

What other ways can you come up with to reduce your food waste?

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