What’s with all the waste? Five ways to cut down your food waste at home

Let’s just call it out, we’re all guilty of wasting food… We cook a meal, store the leftovers and forget they’ve tucked away in the back of the fridge.Whether it’s your favorite mix up of veggies or pie, ultimately 40% of all food in the United States is tossed in the trash. And where does all the uneaten food go you might ask? To a landfill. So whether you’re composting unused foods and reading about it causing global warming or just dumping the uneaten leftovers in the trash, we’re all responsible for going a little more green when it comes to food waste.

As a worldwide epidemic, let’s do our part to eliminate the waste and fight back with a few simple ways:

Shop smarter.

Do you buy and then overbuy? When items are on sale we’re plagued with the urgency to buy a second and “use it later” or to purchase food items we don’t really even need or have an immediate plan to use. Shop smarter by planning out your meals with a weekly or monthly meal planning like the Plant Power Way Meal Planner for just $1.90/week.

Track what you toss.

What would happen if for 30 days you tracked with pen and paper what went down the drain or in the trash bin? Think you’re not one who is big on wasting? Here’s the perfect exercise to determine your eco-footprint.

Once you’ve tracked your waste, determine the areas where it’s primarily coming from and evaluate how you can alter those.

Canning to preserve isn’t just for the farmers.

When your veggies are going bad, the quick solution is to toss them. An alternative option to avoid the waste and still get the goods that are not too far rotten is to can them. Preserve the foods in vinegar mixes and enjoy at a later date.

Find the app that works for you.

Did you know in many cities there are apps being developed or already available which offer discounts to those who purchase the extra foods at businesses and restaurants? For example. PareUp gives New Yorkers the prime opportunity to snag up the foods that are still fresh but going to be wasted by businesses. Who doesn’t love discounted foods that you can use for dinner that night all while keeping a handle on eliminating waste?

Practice FIFO.

Commonly called FIFO, First In – First Out, comes into play after a grocery-shopping trip… move all the oldest food to the front of your fridge or pantry and the newest items to the back. Practicing a first in – first out method of food storage naturally eliminates the constant forgetting of foods in the back of the fridge.

With close to half of the food produced for Americans wasted, the need to evaluate the portions we purchase, serve and then toss is great. While is may seem like a long shot at putting a dent in reducing the food waste as a whole for our country, one meal at a time, one family at a time, one wise choice at a time is what makes the difference.

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