The USDA released results from their study in February 2014, reporting that 133 billion pounds of available food supply went uneaten in 2010. On a much simpler scale, households throw away an estimated 25% of their purchased foods. That is a substantial loss of money and food that could have gone to feeding your family. This data is significant and quite scary. You and your family can work together to eliminate plate waste.
Plan your purchase
Try making a list or use a recipe before visiting the store, to void over purchasing.
Buy produce weekly
Produce can easily go bad if we don’t consume it in time. If you purchase weekly then you can avoid spoilage and ensure fresh option are always available for family snacks and meals.
Avoid buying bagged or bulk produce if you are only planning to use a few. Sales on bagged produce are only a good option if you are able to use them in time.
Always double check expiration dates to ensure you are not purchasing any product that will go bad before you can use it. This is an important habit to have when buying animal products; the items in the front usually expire first.
First in, first out
When unpacking groceries, store all new items in the back of the fridge and pantry. This will prompt you to use the older foods first
Use it up
The day before you need to go shopping, make dinner using anything you have left in the fridge and pantry. You will be surprised about how much you can create!
Leave it for Leftovers
You don’t have to panic if no one finishes their dinner; these make perfect meals the following day.
Think before throwing
Wait! Wilted fruits and veggies can be added to smoothies and soups. Brown bananas are perfect for banana bread!
Any of these unused cans or non-perishable foods can be donated to your local food bank.
It can be hard to judge how much we will eat- start small, you can always add more. This is also beneficial practice to teach children to avoid overeating.
You can almost always guarantee large portion sizes form a restaurant. Plan to split it with a family member or friend.
Don’t worry if you over bake or make too much of something that your family did not particularly love. Bring it to friends or coworkers the next day.
Is plate waste an issue in your family? What tips do you have to reduce food waste?