Reducing Food Waste Starts with You: Here’s How You Can Make a Difference Today!
On the topic of environmental problems across the globe, food waste comes to the forefront as one of the most significant contributors to many environmental issues. Minimizing the wastage of food to slow the rapid progression of climate change is becoming more and more critical by the day. There isn’t much time left for us to make a difference and save the planet. Still, by adopting some good habits in our very homes and by encouraging as many people as possible to follow suit, we can go a long way in reducing food wastage and thereby helping the planet. Here are the steps you and other members of your community can take to do your bit to reduce food wastage in your home!
Adjust the Fridge
Setting your fridge’s thermostat between zero and five degrees Celsius is ideal to preserve your foods effectively. Keeping your freezer at a higher thermostat setting not only sets you up for higher chances of food poisoning. That’s because bacteria multiply on your stored foods and also means that your food spoils a whole lot faster. You don’t get enough time to get to finish it before it spoils.
Stick to a List
Having a grocery list will ensure that the huge list of products in the supermarket don’t distract you. A properly planned week of meals means that your shopping list will give you a clear picture of things to buy. Thus ensuring you don’t buy foods that you won’t know when you will be preparing, setting yourself up for wastage! Plan what you will be cooking and buy only the ingredients necessary for that.
Freeze Extra Fruits
We know it can be tempting to buy larger boxes of that delicious-looking fruit when it looks so tempting in the fresh produce section of the store, but the fruit does not have the best shelf life, and it can be challenging to use up all the fruit before it goes off. Freezing extra fruit that you have washed and cleaned or even chopped up is great for smoothies or baking while freezing pureed or stewed fruits can carry your fruits a long way too, in cooking or in cereals or sauces or even marinades.
Speaking of freezers, freezing your leftovers can mean you are enjoying the same lovely meal on another day. This is great for if you have eaten your fill, and you know you won’t particularly want to eat the same meal the next day. Do this for fast food, or large dishes or small leftovers that can ake up a meal another day. Freeze separately and label containers clearly with the contents and date for the best results.
Freeze Dairy Products
We aren’t done with your freezer just yet! Dairy products are notorious for their short shelf life, and it can be most tempting to buy a large block of cheese when it is so much cheaper than the smaller chunks! Skimmed and semi-skimmed milk freezes well and requires only a shake once defrosted. Freeze cheese in small blocks or even grated. Fresh whipping cream can also be whipped, piped, and frozen and kept in bags for use in your cakes, scones, coffees, or more! Keep extra butter in the freezer, too.
Don’t Bin the Bread
Instead of throwing out your bread when they go stale or don’t look as appetizing as they were when you bought them from the bakery, here’s what you could do. Revive them instead of binning them. You can do this by either repurposing your loaf as breadcrumbs and use it for coating meat, which can be kept in the freezer or by dampening the bread and popping it in the oven to heat up again for a fresh-tasting loaf. This will make your bread go a long way! If you buy too much bread, loaves can be frozen and then popped into the oven for a reheat once defrosted. As good as freshly baked!
Every year, the amount of food that goes to waste is tragic and overwhelming. The impact on the environment from food waste is expansive, and it has been approximated that about one-third of the agricultural area of the world is dedicated to wasted food! This means that doing everything you can and encouraging others to do the same can help drop the 5% carbon footprint that food wastage causes! Do your bit!
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