How to reduce food waste

Updated: Mar 28, 2021

Save Money and Protect the Environment

Do you enjoy eating? I love eating, sharing recipes, and tasting new flavors, but I hate food waste. Food waste affects the environment more than we think.

Did you know, in the U.S., we waste an average of 30 - 40% of the food we produce?

Keep in mind, one of every six Americans does not have enough food to eat. According to the World Resources Institute (WRI), food waste is responsible for 8% of annual greenhouse gas emissions, from production, packaging, shipping, and food rotting in landfills.

Food waste also costs the average American family of four about $1,500 per year.

By becoming more mindful of and more efficient in how we consume our food, we can have better control of its production, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and save money.

Here are 10 tips to help you reduce food waste:

#1 Buy only what you need.

  • Plan your meals for the next week (including leftover nights and takeout).

  • Check your fridge and pantry before going to the store so you only get what you need.

  • While you shop, avoid impulse buying. Start shopping first for fresh vegetables, fruits, fish, and meat so you spend less time in “unnecessary item” aisles.

  • Don't go shopping hungry!

#2 Go for the perfectly imperfect.

  • “Ugly” produce does not mean rotten or damaged. Forget about cosmetic standards, an imperfect vegetable does not make a difference chopped up in a casserole.

  • Don't forget to pick up the "lonely veggie" (bananas, tomatoes), they might be throw away.

#3 Store food properly.

  • Check the temperature of your fridge (40 degrees is recommended).

  • Create an “eat me first” shelf or basket with more perishable food upfront.

  • Take care of fresh produce right away.

  • Chopping and storing your veggies properly will save you time during the busy week.

  • Keep carrots and celery in water.

  • Don’t keep tomatoes, pears, potatoes, or avocados in the fridge.

  • Store bread in a cotton bag or reuse a pillowcase.

  • Store your grains properly in sealed reusable containers (they will last longer).

#4 Cook the roots, stew the scraps.

  • Cauliflowers leaves, beetroots, and carrot stalks and leaves can be cooked.