Let’s start with a small fact: Each year there is enough food being wasted to feed almost one billion hungry people worldwide. This isn’t meant to make you feel guilty, but to put into perspective just how much excess food gets thrown out!
The UN has launched a campaign collaborating with different organizations called Think.Eat.Save., aimed to decrease food waste globally. With the recent events occurring in Lebanon these past weeks, it is clear we produce excess waste ourselves. Wasted food also means, wasted water, energy, land, and cost all of which affects our environment and resources. Let us join this campaign by following just a few simple ways to decrease food wasted home. Below are 10 easy tips that you can improve on:
1- Shop Smart: This starts at the supermarket, plan your meals, make a grocery and shop only for what you need. This avoids buying excess food that may end up getting thrown out.
2- Practice FIFO: “First in, First out.” Always store your products at home with the older items in front and the newer in the back. This way you can use the old stuff before they expire instead of throwing out the items when expired. Similarly, always take stock and keep an inventory of what foods you have.
3- Eat leftovers: Pack your leftover foods to take with you to work or school the next day. You can even freeze foods such as extra sauces and save them for later.
4- Use it all: Most foods can be eaten whole. When cooking use as much of the food as possible such as the skin and stems of vegetables. This technique not only decreases waste but also adds nutrients! For example, the skin of fruits and vegetables are where all the fiber is.
5- Preserve: If fruits and vegetables are too ripe or faded, you don’t have to throw them. Use them to make smoothies, soups, or compote. These are both delicious and make nutritious snacks!
6- Check the storage compartments: Always maximize your storing conditions. If a lot of your food gets thrown out because they are stale, use airtight containers. Constantly check the fridge and freezer temperatures to keep foods as fresh as possible.
7- Donate: Donating excess food is not only a good deed, but food is used instead of thrown out. There are many organizations such as food banks that collect extra foods and give them away to those in need (check out the Lebanese Food Bank)
8- Share: Choose to share meals when eating out, especially with the large portion sizes these days. If you make big recipes invite family and friends over for a meal.
9- Composting: Potato skins, old veggies, food scraps. Did you know that you could turn these all into compost? A useful resource that can be used in your own garden as fertilizer. What a great way to recycle your food waste!
10- Educate: Once you start making some changes, tell others and they may follow. Sometimes you may not be aware just how easy it is to waste less. So, spread the word!