5 Strategies to Stop Wasting Food
Did you know that Americans throw away an average 20 pounds of food per person per month? In the US alone, we waste 35 million tons of food every year. Not only does this equate to wasted money, but it’s also bad for the environment. The good news is there are some simple strategies you can start implementing right away that will help you reduce your contribution to the food waste epidemic. Here are five such strategies to consider.
Plan your meals in advance. Before you hit the grocery store, sit down and decide what meals you will eat for the coming week. Then make a list of all the ingredients you’ll need to purchase in order to prepare those meals. Having this with you when you head to the store will keep you on track and help you avoid buying excess food that you might end up throwing away.
Understand dates. There are several different dates posted on food packages, and knowing what each one means can help you shop more wisely and avoid potential waste. For instance, the “Sell By” date determines how long a store can sell a particular product. Food can still be safely consumed after this date. The “Best By” date tells you when a product should be consumed for best quality. Again, it’s safe to consume food after this date. If you haven’t eaten it by the “Use By” date, however, it’s too late.
Don’t discount canned or frozen foods. Fresh vegetables and fruits are great, but they tend to go south relatively quickly, so if you don’t use them up, they’re going to end up in the trash. You can reduce this waste by purchasing canned or frozen produce, which both have much longer shelf lives. Our extensive line of frozen and canned veggies and blends deliver all the same nutrients and vitamins in a much more convenient way.
Eat your leftovers. If your family doesn’t finish all of what you’ve prepared for them, don’t sweat it. Package it up in food storage containers and stock them in the fridge for quick, easy and delicious lunch options all week. And don’t be afraid to get a little creative. Today’s roasted chicken can easily become tomorrow’s chicken salad sandwiches.
Donate what you don’t eat. Have way too many nonperishable items, like boxed or canned goods, taking up extra space in your cupboards? Don’t toss them! Donate them to a local food bank or soup kitchen. They will appreciate the gesture and you’ll clear up space in your kitchen without having to feel guilty about doing so. Everyone wins!
Food waste is a serious problem in the US, but it’s one that each of us can take measures to reduce. By implementing the above strategies, you’ll cut back on waste and make a positive difference in the world around you at the same time.