Cut Down on Food Waste

veggiesThe old adage of not shopping on an empty stomach is aimed at preventing unneeded impulse purchases. But if you’re going to eat and enjoy those purchases, what’s the problem? The real problem is buying food that you don’t eat and end up throwing out.

It’s great to buy fresh fruits and veggies, but not great to buy them and waste them. We are all guilty of this sin, but here are some ways I try to minimize food waste:

  1. Buy only what you need for a particular recipe or meal. By buying what you need and no more, you eliminate the possibility of waste. This does mean more frequent visits to the market, but that’s added exercise if you can walk there! If you can’t walk to the store or farmer’s market, then see how you can fit frequent visits into your regular commute to work or other errands.
  2. Freeze what you won’t use. If you aren’t sure that you will eat the fresh fruit or veggie before it goes bad, make sure to freeze it. Frozen fruit is great for smoothies and frozen veggies are perfect for sauces and soups.
  3. Make stock or compote. Take wilted and generally past-their-prime veggies and boil them in water to make veggie stock. You can then freeze this stock and use it in so many recipes. Fruits that are on their way to being compost can be used for compotes with a bit of water and sweeter, if you like. These compotes can be frozen and used to serve alone or with a plain cake or other dessert.
  4. Get creative. When you see that you have too much food and it’s likely to go to waste, get creative with a mixed up meal. Look at what veggies and fruits you have that are on the cusp of spoiling and search for recipes that use them. You may discover a new favorite!

Of course, if you end up with a bit of waste, at least compost it!

What are your best ways to cut down on food waste? Please share!

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3 thoughts on “Cut Down on Food Waste

  1. Good ideas. i have a friend who makes salsa from older veggies and we make cones or muffins with turning fruit. Both can be made now to freeze for later.

  2. Another idea is to share your excess food with others – friends, family, neighbors, strangers, homeless – which saves food, diverts waste, builds relationships, helps others, and nourishes the soul.

  3. At the risk of promoting myself leftovers are my favourite ingredients and I have even written a recently published book on the subject. So much potentially delicious food is thrown away which is a waste not only of food but of enjoyment!

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