5 Easy Practices to Reduce Food Waste
You can take steps to reduce food waste and save money while helping the environment. Each year in the United States, about 90 billion pounds of edible food goes uneaten each year. This is the equivalent of about $370 per person in the US. Reducing food waste can help you save money, improve food access to others, and protect valuable natural resources. Here are 5 small steps that can help you save money and reduce the amount of food thrown away,
Reduce Food Waste by Planning
Before you head to the grocery store, develop a plan for what you need that week. Planning out weekly meals in advance can avoid impulsive food decisions when you are hungry. Making a grocery list and sticking to it will help your wallet and your waistline.
Reduce Food Waste by Organizing
Once you get home, organize all of your shopping. If you can prep ingredients ahead of time, you may able to cut down on time spent cooking during the week. Taking the time to organize your fridge and freezer will also keep you aware of food items that may need to be used quickly.
Reduce Food Waste by Freezing
Frozen fruits and vegetables are just as healthy as fresh, and they keep for a significantly longer time. Consider buying frozen, or if you know that you will not be able to eat your fruits and vegetable before they expire, find out how to freeze them. Many other foods can be frozen as well, such as bread and cheese. Using your freezer to its fullest ability can help you to save money by stocking up on foods when they are on sale, and reduce food waste by keeping food safe for longer.
Reduce Food Waste by Donating
Most of us end up with a few items that get placed in the back of the pantry and never eaten. Consider donating to food pantries, food banks and food rescue programs. Both non-perishable and unspoiled perishable goods can be donated. Clean out your fridge, freezer and pantry every few months and support your local community.
Reduce Food Waste by Composting
Composting is nature’s way of recycling organic materials back into the soil, and can easily be made with landscape trimmings and food scraps. Composting benefits your yard, saves money on fertilizer and is earth-friendly. If you do not have a backyard, there are still composting options available. If other people in your apartment building or community are interested in composting, perhaps find a community space to compost.
For more information about reducing food waste through planning and cooking, KareBoost Health’s registered dietitian nutritionist can help you to plan meals, create grocery lists, and provide healthy recipes.
Andrea Berez, MS, RD, CSP
Pediatric Registered Dietitian