Do you worry about food waste? You’re not alone. Each year, around 40 percent of all the food produced globally, never end their lifecycle with human consumption!
That’s a lot of avoidable food loss & waste, money, and resources down the drain.
Fortunately, this global problem is finally getting the attention and awareness that it deserves.
In this blog post, The PostHarvest Team will highlight 7 ways to have a food waste-free household.
With a few simple changes, you can make a big difference!
- Meal plan
- Proper food storage
- Use up leftovers before they go bad
- Compost scraps
- Buy what you need
- Grow what you can
- Teach others ways to reduce food waste at home
Meal planning is not only a great way to reduce food waste in your household but also a great way to save money.
When you plan out your meals for the week with a shopping list, you can buy the required items and avoid any impulse buys whilst shopping.
Additionally, by cooking all of your meals at the top of the week, you can avoid having any leftover food by designating the right amount of meals and portion sizes in advance.
Proper food storage
One of the main reasons that food gets wasted is due to it spoiling before we have a chance to eat it.
To prevent this, make sure to store food properly within optimal conditions.
For example, keep certain fresh fruits and vegetables in the fridge, so that they last longer.
Also, be sure to keep climacteric and non-climacteric fresh produce items separate from one another to avoid unwanted levels of ethylene gas and the resulting rotten produce items.
Be sure to properly put the bread away in a dedicated container to avoid stale bread from occurring too soon.
Use up leftovers before they go bad
Another way to reduce food waste is by using up any leftover uneaten food before it goes bad.
There are tons of great recipes that you can make with leftover ingredients such as stir fries with vegetable scraps like broccoli stems, homemade stock from meat product leftovers, and juices from leftover fruit and leafy greens.
This is yet another great way to save money and reduce food waste at the same time.
After you’ve finished a meal, place any remaining edible food in some of your own containers with dated labelling and refrigerate.
Make sure containers are airtight, and to avoid discolouring and keep certain foods fresh, add a little lemon juice.
Living with family or housemates with different foods being stored in one place makes for unorganised food storage, which can then result in wasting food.
Following the simple steps listed can help you reduce your household waste, and create a more positive environmental impact overall.
If you have a backyard, composting is a great way to reduce food waste while also being carbon footprint conscious.
Composting is the zero waste process of breaking down organic matter within bulk bins, to create a nutrient-rich soil amendment that can be used to improve the quality of your garden soil.
Composting is an environmentally friendly way to give scraps a second life in more ways than one.
While compost has many benefits to your garden’s soil, it also helps reduce climate change emissions, as a lot of discarded food scraps that are not composted ends up in landfills that do not have the right conditions for the produce to biodegrade properly.
In fact, landfills are a huge problem as they build up to alarming levels of methane and greenhouse gasses.
In short, avoid wasting food by all means, and whenever you find yourself with leftovers be sure to compost where possible.
Buy what you need
One of the best ways to reduce food waste is to simply buy what you need.
This may seem like an obvious solution, but it’s often easier said than done.
While certain grocery stores have 2 for 1 specials and other sales tactics that may be enticing. A lot of the time the products on sale are perishable food items that have a fast-approaching expiration date, hence why the retailers wish to make a quick sale and pass the buck to the consumer.
These sales purchases simply turn into excess food items that inevitably go to waste.
It’s important to be mindful of what you’re buying and to only buy what you need.
If you find that you’re constantly throwing away food because you bought too much, try portioning out your meals, so that you’re only buying what you’ll actually eat.
Grow what you can
One of the best ways to avoid wasteful purchases is by growing your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
When you grow your own fresh produce, it can have a huge impact on the amount of perfectly edible food items in your house that go to waste.
Growing food in your own garden may lead to imperfect produce but this shouldn’t phase you, as you have complete control over what goes into the soil, so you know that no harmful chemicals or pesticides will end up on your food.
You also don’t have to worry about the produce going bad before you can eat it, as you’re only collecting what you need for a meal, straight from the source.
Teach others ways to reduce food waste at home
One of the best ways in reducing waste is to educate those around you about the importance of reducing food waste.
If you teach your family and friends about zero waste practices and their benefits, you can expect to see more food being consumed, more money being saved, and more leftovers having a second life.
The key to seeing real change is to provide not only great tips but easy tips for friends and family to practically apply to their food habits.
Providing a few ways to reduce waste that does not require an entire lifestyle change, is the best way to see results from loved ones.
These simple tips may be ways in which you can make other dishes with the ingredients you have on hand such as a stir fry or baked goods, or meal prep for the week, when you should freeze leftovers, and even how to grow and compost your own fresh produce.
So there you have it! 7 ways to have a food waste-free household.
If you’re looking for more detailed information or want to explore this topic further, we highly recommend checking out some of the valuable resources within our free online courses on food waste reduction.
With a little bit of effort, reducing how much food your household throws away can be easy and painless. What changes will you make today?
For more articles like this, you can visit PostHarvest’s blog page here.