In the United States alone, it is estimated that 30-40% of food is wasted. While that fact may come as a shock, we can take responsibility and initiative in our own household by implementing the tips listed in my newest post, ‘5 Ways to Reduce Produce Waste at Home.’
Whether you stock up on produce weekly at the grocery store or have your fruits and vegetables delivered, it’s imperative to have a plan. If you shop yourself, create a meal plan and then a list that’s based on that plan. Those few extra minutes of planning can significantly reduce the chance of impulse purchases, which often go to waste. In addition, most produce delivery services offer some level of customization whether it’s the size of the box or its contents. Be sure you select the right size box for your household and the ratio of fruits and vegetables that’s most realistic.
PROPER FOOD STORAGE IS KEY
Correct food storage can add days, weeks or even months to your food. Keeping several different food storage options on hand and understanding how and when to use them can greatly reduce the risk of food going bad. Also, resources like the USDA’s food storage guide or apps like Foodkeeper can help minimize the need to toss produce.
LET’S GET CREATIVE
If you notice your fruits and veggies are starting to take a turn for the worse, it might be time to get creative in the kitchen! Following or creating recipes that use several different types of produce at once (think soups, smoothies, broths and stir-fry’s) are an effective and delicious way to combat food waste.
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CREATE A COMMUNITY
If you use a produce delivery service, connect with friends, family or neighbors that do the same. Try swapping or sharing items you have too much of or simply giving away the items you won’t need that week. Not only will you be combating the need to waste but also cultivating a sense of community.
While tossing seemingly boring leftovers can be tempting, challenge yourself to get creative! Vegetable stir-fry can make an excellent omelet filling and last night’s protein makes a great base for tonight’s tacos. Little tweaks can make an otherwise ordinary or repetitive meal, extraordinary.