Globally one-third of food is wasted every year. This high data makes it essential to take action now to reduce food waste.
Food waste has become a serious problem for many years. Whether from an environmental aspect (with excessive use of transport, water, energy, artificial input), but also ethical and finally economic through unnecessary expenses either for consumers, companies or producers.
But there are several healthy ways to reduce food waste by organizing your daily life in the best and healthiest way possible.
Let’s see the 6 ways!
Do grocery lists
One of the first healthy ways to reduce food waste is an old school one, doing lists. This can sound very simple but it’s very useful.
Before doing that, have a look at your fridge and closets to identify which foods you’re going to buy. Also, plan your future meals with all the ingredients you’ll need.
Everything you need is marked on your list so you can’t buy too much food. Therefore, at the end of your food shopping, you buy only the foods that you really need. You’re less likely to be attracted by promotion and unnecessary products on the shelves of supermarkets.
This will help you to buy less impulsively and thus reduce food waste.
Ensure proper food preservation
This is important to have optimal storage in your fridge and cupboards to keep every food in the right place and thus reduce food waste.
To store your fridge correctly, make sure that every food is in the right place, meaning in the right cold zone. Some fruits and vegetables don’t need to be stored in the fridge and get damaged quickly in it. This rule includes tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, peppers, avocados and summer fruits (peaches, plums, cherries…).
Besides that, put the products in front of those that need to be consumed as quickly as possible either in the fridge or cupboards. To extend the shelf life of some foods, freeze them before they expire.
Eat leftovers is a very important matter because they allow reducing little by little food waste.
Use your leftovers for lunch at work by putting them in a little glass container. Or, make great meals with the rest of the food in your fridge. Then, put them in a large glass container to make them seeable in the fridge. It’s sometimes very boring when we open the fridge and see many opaque containers which don’t make it easy to take them.
If you usually make a lot of big meals every week, you can largely organize your daily meals with leftovers and meals.
And it can allow your creative sense to make a ton of delicious meals with many associations that you can easily find in your fridge!
Follow expiration dates
There are several dates on products that emphasize many meanings on the shelf life that most of us don’t really know. In fact, we normally notice the date on it. And this is everything we remember of the product. However, dates encompass a whole meaning if the product is eatable until a certain date.
What do they mean then?
Most of the products contain the mark ‘use-by’ and ‘best before’.
Use-by means that the product should be eaten before the date. It encompasses foods that can deteriorate themselves quickly such as meat products, fishes or ready-to-eat salads. It can put your health at risk if you eat them after the expiration date.
Then, best before refers to foods that can be eaten even after the date. The food will only lose its quality and taste. But it doesn’t normally put your health in danger.
Favour damaged or ripped fruits and vegetables
The most wasted fruits and vegetables are often the one that is damaged, ripped, or badly graded. In clear, they don’t have a perfect appearance.
Nonetheless, it’s a cruel issue that makes tons of fruits and vegetables wasted.
Even though they can be damaged, ripped, or badly graded, these fruits and vegetables have the same nutritional qualities as the others.
Freezing foods is one of the best and healthy ways to reduce food waste.
It’s practical, easy, quick.
At any moment you can freeze foods to extend their shelf life. After buying a product to keep it longer or just before an expiration date. This sounds like a perfect solution. And it concerns a large number of foods including ready meals, vegetables, fruits, pieces of bread, meats, fishes… Moreover, it’s a good way to keep all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals found in these foods!
However, as you probably know, it can be useless or maybe hurtful if you refreeze an already frozen food and if you freeze expired foods.
Compost or donate
Compost is a really good idea in an environment and economic aspect.
Put all the food scraps in the composter. It can be an outdoor composter if you have a garden or a countertop composter for citizens. Moreover, you can also donate surplus food to food organizations. You don’t only make good actions, but you also save food that you wouldn’t eat anyway.
Food waste is definitively a plague in the world. The more time passes, the more we waste food. Sadly, many different factors make this problem even harder to solve.
But some solutions can really change the condition of the planet. As mentioned above, you can elaborate on steps that can make a big difference in your daily life. Doing grocery lists, ensuring proper food preservation. Favouring damaged fruits and vegetables, eating leftovers – among the most important – are good healthy ways to reduce food waste. There are other ideas we didn’t even mention.
You have already the key to make good action to protect the environment!
Sources and further readings
Rawpixel on Pexels.
Photo of Do grocery lists by Startup Stock Photo on Pexels.
Photo of Favor damaged or ripped fruits and vegetables by Marcela Laskoski on Unsplash.
Photo of Freeze foods by David Disponett on Pexels.