Everyone can agree that throwing out food is wasteful. But did you know it hurts more than your pocketbook? It’s harming our planet. It fills up our landfills, which take a shockingly long time to biodegrade.
And, let’s not forget the massive eco-footprint our food develops before it makes its way to our markets and plates.
So, to save your hard-earned scratch and the planet – here are six ways to keep food out of the landfill.
Avoid Fridge Composting
It’s no fun picking through slimy spinach or trying to figure out what some rotting lump used to be! So, yes, you do need to be one of those people who mindfully select each tomato. Pick the freshest of the fresh. Especially if it’s for a meal later in the week. It’s no fun trying to work with slimy spinach or limp cilantro!
Or, alternatively, if you shop more often, take advantage of the ‘use today’ section to rescue food that the store might send to the landfill tomorrow.
Better yet, choose grocery stores that practice sustainability and either compost or donate soon-to-be-rotten food.
Skip Bulk Bargains
We get it. It can be hard to say no to twice as many peppers for the same price. Who hasn’t been wooed by the sale on the giant bin of organic greens? Unless you have a plan to eat it all, it IS going to rot on you. Ditch the deals and buy only what you need.
But if you MUST, pass along to colleagues, neighbours what you know you’re not going to use OR have room for in your cold box.
Set Your Menu
Planning your weekly menu means that you head to the market with a more cohesive shopping list. Then, buy only what’s on the list! Make sure your plan accounts for half measures. So, if you need half a head of cauliflower for Monday night’s lentil soup, put Korean Cauliflower Poppers on the menu for later in the week to use up the other half.
Put the Freeze on It
Make too much? Don’t let it go forgotten and mouldy at the back of the fridge. Portion it out into single servings and freeze it while it’s fresh. You just know one of those crazy-busy weeks is coming and you’ll be all set with quick, fresh meals waiting to be reheated.
Become Your Own Master Chef
Take a page from the cooking shows and see what kind of culinary masterpiece you can come up with using only what’s left in the fridge at the end of the week. Some of our go-to’s are smoothies, soups, and baked goods like banana or veggie bread. Get creative – you might be surprised at your master chef skills!
Call BS on Best Before
Best before dates (BBD) are responsible for so much unnecessary food waste! Other than eggs, the BBD does not mean the food is inedible after that date. It literally means the foods tastes its ‘best before’ that date. It’s still good to eat so don’t waste it.
If you’re nervous, you can freeze food on it’s BBD to preserve it. Did you know that some food that has a BBD doesn’t even need it? Use your sense(s) – don’t eat food that smells or looks rotten. Otherwise, it’s one more thing you can eat instead of tossing.
And, when all else fails, compost, compost, compost your way to a lighter landfill load.