The first observance of the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste (IDAFLW) was celebrated on 29 September 2020, to serve as a global wakeup call especially during this time of COVID-19 pandemic to rethink the way we produce, handle and waste our food. In line with this, here are 11 tips on how to reduce your food waste.
Tip 1: Meal plans
Setup a meal plan. It could be for a week or two or even a month. Your meals too need planning not just your day. A great tip here is that your meals should follow each other. Cook meals with similar ingredients.
Tip 2: Make a list:
You shouldn’t only make a list for Santa, you should make one for your food. Make a grocery list before heading to the store and make sure you stick to it. This will stop you from picking random irrelevant stuff and help you buy just what you need. You’ll not just reduce your food waste but save money.
Tip 3: Cook little
Don’t cook for 10 when you have just 3 people at home. Cook little. Cook what you and your household can consume. Don’t waste. If it happens that you still have food left from the little you cooked, store them properly.
Tip 4: Leftovers
Creativity isn’t just in art. You can bring in some of that in your food. Be creative with your leftovers. Make new stuff with them rather than throwing them away. Overripe fruits? Turn them to smoothies. Juice them!
Here’s a quick extra leftover tip – if you have any leftovers, start with them rather than making a whole new meal. If you need to make a new one, make sure it’s what you can make from the leftovers.
Tip 5: Storage
Storing is really important especially when you’re bulk buying. You store to keep your food fresh. It’s one thing to store and it’s another thing to store the right way. Don’t put stuff you’re meant to store in the refrigerator in your cupboard. Store in airtight containers when you’re meant to.
Tip 6: Organizing your refrigerator and pantry
Keeping your fridge and pantry clean and organized will help you reduce your food waste. If your food is thrown around the fridge and pantry, you won’t be able to see what food is about to get spoilt and consume quickly. Organizing will help you see clearly. Sorta like a third eye.
Here’s a quick extra organizing tip – put the old/more perishable ones in front and the new/less perishable ones behind so you can easily see and eat them first. Practice FIFO! First in, first out.
Tip 7: Food scraps
As the saying goes, “one man’s meat is another man’s poison.” What’s not good for you (your poison) is good for another.
What do I mean?
Your food scraps can go a long way if you compost them. Composting will add more nutrients to the soil. You see my point now? It’s not good for you but it’s good for the soil.
You can donate to farms too. They can be used in feeding animals.
Do this rather than throwing them away. It’s a way of diverting them from landfills where they’ll end up releasing methane. You can start your compost pile in your yard or even in your kitchen.
Tip 8: Share
If you have excess food why not share them? Sharing is one of the tips to reduce your food waste. Give your neighbors, friends and loved ones. You can even give a stranger. Spread the love!
Tip 9: Take stock
Taking stock of your food products will help you know which one is most likely to perish and which isn’t. This will help you plan your meals around them too. You should do this often.
Tip 10: Dates
Understanding your dates will help you reduce your food waste. “Best before, best by, use by”…whatever date it is, you need to understand them. Turns out some of these dates are just up for fancy. Your food products are still good after these dates.
Tip 11: Educate
Help others understand the food waste thing. Share tips with your friends, neighbors and other people around you. Create more awareness.
Now you have these tips on how to reduce your food waste, it’s up to you to change your habit. Eat the right way and protect the environment while you eat.