5 Practical Ways to Reduce Food Waste

Scallop risotto with carrot puree

Every year, ⅓ of the food produced in the world is wasted. That’s 1.3 billion tons of food! Not only are people wasting money, but it has a huge impact on our environment as well. That’s why I have been doing a few simple things to reduce our household’s food waste. That being said, I do not aim for perfection and entirely reduce our food waste to zero. However, every little thing adds up, so I just do the best that I can. The list below is quite easy to do and I hope you could find a couple that you can do as well:

1. Shop from your pantry and fridge

I cannot stress this enough. Before buying meals or more ingredients, take a look at your pantry and fridge. Keep an eye on expiration dates and use the items up before they go bad. I actually have a tiny list of condiments and marinades on the door of my fridge with expiration dates on them, so I know which ones to use.

2. Do a quick inventory of your ingredients and make a list before grocery shopping

Based on the food items that you have on hand, plan your meals for the week ahead and just buy enough. Taking a quick look at your current stock can lessen the chances of buying multiples of the same thing, or just overbuying in general. Oh, and eat something before going to the grocery. You’ll be less tempted to buy things that aren’t on your list 😊

3. Store and eat leftovers

You can be creative with your leftover food, if you don’t like to eat the same thing over and over (Fortunately, we don’t have this issue and we’re ok with repeat meals). You can make your leftover food into an omelette, or add them in pastas, soups, or pizzas. If there’s too much left over food, store it in the freezer so that it lasts longer. This also applies for leftover ingredients such as canned vegetables, sauces, and creams. Remember to transfer the leftover canned food in a glass jar before placing them in the fridge. 

4. There is no shame is asking for a doggy bag or takeaway box

I am not the type to be ashamed to ask for a takeaway box if I can’t finish the huge serving of food that I ordered at a restaurant. I’d prefer to enjoy the food in another meal than to try and stuff everything in one sitting. But apparently, there are a lot of people who are shy or hesitant to ask for a doggy bag or takeaway box. I am here to tell you that there is nothing wrong with it, and you’re doing the environment some good.

5. Sign up for apps and services that help reduce food waste

I recently discovered a new app called Foodprint which allows its partner establishments to sell their food online at a discounted price instead of throwing the food away. Currently this app is used in Auckland, New Zealand. But I am hoping a lot more apps and services like this become available in other parts of the world.

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