Cutting Your Food Waste
Most Americans waste about $40 worth of food a month. That might not sound like a lot, but for some families, it’s a whole weeks worth of shopping. A recent study found that globally we throw away around 1.3 billion tons of food every year, which is around a third of everything grown. While there are families all over the world starving or struggling to feed their children, the rest of us are throwing away leftovers, finding moldy food that’s been left in our fridge for too long or leaving tins in our cupboards for years. It just doesn’t seem right.
Individually, we can’t completely cut this waste and change the world. But, we can do our bit. We can buy less, eat well, throw away less and stop wasting our own money on food that we never get to eat. Let’s take a look at some simple ways to do this.
Check Your Fridge
Perhaps the silliest way we waste food is not looking after it properly. With the correct refrigerator repair and settings, chilled food can last for a lot longer. Don’t waste food because your fridge isn’t working it’s best or set to the correct temperature.
Meal planning is a brilliant tool. It saves you money, cuts your waste by ensuring you only buy what you need and encourages you to try new things. Sit down before you shop every week and plan the week ahead. Include meals and snacks and look through your cupboards to see what you actually need.
Then, write a shopping list and make sure you stick to it. This way you only buy what you
need, and things are less likely to get wasted.
Use Your Freezer
Your freezer is a powerful tool when it comes to cutting food waste. Cook meals in larger portions and freeze the extras for a meal another day. Freeze leftovers from plates that would otherwise get thrown away, and freeze food with a low shelf life as soon as you buy it to make it last longer.
Don’t Be Ruled by Best Before Dates
Best before dates and used by dates aren’t the same thing. A use by date is about safety. This is the last date that food can be eaten safely. These are often found on foods like chicken and dairy, which pose a significant health risk. A best before date is more of a guide. The date is the last day that the manufacturer thinks the food will be at its best quality and taste, as long as it looks and smells fine, the food is safe to eat after this date and should taste fine.
Use your common sense when it comes to use by dates, don’t throw food away just because the date has passed.
Donate Unwanted Foods
If there’s food in your home that you know that you aren’t going to eat before it’s past its best, instead of throwing it away, donate it to a food bank or shelter. People always need food, just because you don’t want it doesn’t mean it needs to be wasted.