Best Insider Tips on How to Avoid Food WasteWiebke Venter
We generate 21,5 million tons of food waste every year, which is equivalent to the weight of 4,3 million African elephants. This results in wasted nutrients that could’ve been recycled and restored back into the environment for both, humans and nature, to use in future.
These nutrients can be restored so that new food can grow by composting food scraps like eggshells, coffee ground, fruit and vegetable peels. Eggshells and coffee ground are highly beneficial in fertilising your home garden and peels are the perfect food for your worm farm.
Here are some of the most effective ways to avoid food waste:
Plan your meals
The best way to avoid food waste is to carefully ensure the food you buy and cook matches the amount you can actually consume. This is why you should plan. Creating shopping lists before going to the store is a smart way to help you stick to buying the essentials only. In this way, you will not only waste less food, but you will also save more money.
Store food properly
You’ve got to know how to store your food properly: As convenient as it would be, all foods shouldn’t be stored in one place such as the fridge. Your bread will dry out, your bananas will get brown spots and your apples will speed up the process of other fruits getting ripe. Bread is best stored in a paper bag or a cotton bread bag, and your vegetables such as onions, potatoes and carrots can be stored in a cool, dark place like a basement.
If you didn’t realise it before, each storage section in your fridge offers a different temperature perfect for the storage of specific goods. Your marmalades, sauces, eggs and butter can be kept in the door. Greens like broccoli, spring onions or asparagus should go into the vegetable drawer in the bottom of your fridge. Wrapping them in a wet cloth will help to extend its life and keep them fresh. Meat and fish should be placed in the middle and dairies in the top, where the coolest temperatures are.
In addition, the “best before” date doesn’t necessarily mean that the product is no longer edible once it reaches its expiry date. The food will be safe to eat after this date but may not be at its best quality, but always trust your senses when unsure.
Use your leftovers
Last but not least: Put your leftovers to good use. If your produce is overripe or the leafy greens are withered, place them in a mixer and make a delicious, healthy and immune boosting smoothie:
Here’s an example of an easy recipe:
Easy 3 Ingredient Green smoothie: 1 cup Liquid (almond milk, Coconut milk, Coconut water, juice, milk, water) + 1 cup leafy greens + 1 ½ cup fruit
Easy 3 Ingredient fruit smoothie: 1 Cup fruits + 1 cup liquid + Extras like oats, chia seeds, flaxseeds/-powder, hemp seeds, cashews, walnuts….
You can also turn dry bread into French Toast. Simply soak in milk and egg, and fry in a pan. It´s delicious as a savoury dish complemented by fresh tomatoes and a herb-and-yogurt-dip. Or you can just add cinnamon and sugar.
Pro leftover-tip: Almost every leftover from dinner tastes amazing in a scrambled egg for breakfast.
Don’t be afraid to get creative with your food. There’s so much fun in being creative.