How to Tackle Food Waste: From Plate to Planet
Discover sustainable tips to reduce food waste to combat the looming global food shortages on this year's International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste.
When we talk about food, we generally focus on all things fun and flavourful. We often ignore the other side though - the food waste we are directly or indirectly responsible for. On a planet where lifelines and ecosystems depend on food chains, a world that is struck with poverty and depletion of resources, food waste is no less than a global plague that we must find a cure to.
We probably tend to take it lightly because we take it for granted. Most of us have easy access to food, and we've never had to think about supermarkets running out of fresh fruits and vegetables, meat and poultry, or dairy products. That is changing rapidly everywhere, and with the global population increasing, people are struggling to meet basic dietary requirements due to global food shortages. Did you know that every year, about 1.3 billion tons of food ends up in landfills? Imagine how many kids you could have fed with those half-eaten salad bowls that landed in your bins.
Every year, the United Nations General Assembly, The Food and Agriculture Organization, and the United Nations Environment Program come together on September 29 to celebrate the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste. Their objective is to reduce food loss and waste, combat food scarcity, and transform agri-food systems into more sustainable models so that no one goes hungry.
Interestingly, food wastage isn't that difficult to keep under control. All it needs is a little awareness, conscientiousness, and determination. We can help make a positive impact by adopting little habits like sustainable food management.
Get a Grip on Your Grocery
Do you stuff extra items like a can of beans or a few more pieces of fruit or veggies into your cart every time you go for groceries? This is one of the easiest ways to exceed your weekly food budget while adding to food waste. You can tackle this by planning your grocery list beforehand and consciously sticking to it.
If you plan your weekly menu in advance and identify what you need for each recipe, you will know what ingredients you need and exactly how much of it this week. When you go grocery shopping, take that list of ingredients with you and stick to it. This way, you control your weekly spending and eliminate excess food waste by buying just what you need.
Love Those Leftovers
Most of us tend to cook a bit extra just in case we get hungrier than usual or to save time by making multiple servings to last us through the week. Then through the week, we completely forget about the leftovers or extra servings in the fridge and order takeout or delivery. By the time we find those leftovers again, they've already gone bad and are simply inedible.
This unfortunate food waste can be easily avoided by freezing them. This way, you can store them for far longer, and you'll always have something you can thaw out and heat up quickly when you don't want to cook. You can even use those leftovers to repurpose them into a whole new recipe.
For example, if you made pasta the other day and have some grilled chicken and sauce left over, you can use it to make a Pita wrap with some nice marinara or salsa. If you accidentally cooked some extra rice, throw in some herbs and spices, some soy sauce, maybe an egg too, and you have a nice bowl of fried rice that's ready to go. It is not only fun but also helps reduce food waste, while giving you more inexpensive nutritious meals.
Track Your Tupperware
Another thing that many of us are guilty of is putting our leftovers in Tupperware and putting them in the fridge. Out of sight and out of mind is a very real thing. We often forget about those leftovers until they smell rancid and make our fridge stink. This is why it is necessary to label your Tupperware with small notes to help you track what's in the box and when you put it in the fridge. Whenever you check your fridge, these notes will remind you that you have leftovers waiting for you. These notes will also help you track how long the leftovers have been in the fridge. Dry-erase markers are your best friends!
Another thing you can do is make a community food bank in your neighbourhood where you all pool in and share the food you've made extra. This way, no one will ever go hungry. Everyone will have access to healthy and nutritious food, even if they can't afford it.
Grow Your Own Garden
You tried to use those leftovers as much as you could but some of it still went bad. Well, then this next tip should be your go-to. Did you know that those rotten tomatoes and fruit peels you throw into the bin can be used to grow fresh fruits and vegetables?
All you need is some garden soil, a pot and some water. You can grow your own kitchen garden using at least some of that food waste as a natural fertilizer. Talk about sustainability. Instead of having to buy those tomatoes and herbs at the shop, you could grow your own. In fact, you can grow a lot of commonly used fruits, vegetables, and herbs in small planters using your leftovers as fertilizer.
Order Eco Friendly
If you order readymade meals from meal prep services or eateries, support ones that adhere to eco friendly and sustainable business and food management practices. In fact, take it a step further and make it a point to order from services that support local businesses. Such businesses are not only environmentally friendly, but their meals can also be healthier.
Some food delivery services offer dedicated healthy meal plans for those who wish to keep their calories and food intake in check. These services are a great way to enjoy inexpensive nutritious meals without putting yourself through the tedious task of meal planning. It just works better.
Reducing Food Waste: Diet2Go's Commitment to Fresh, Local Ingredients for a Healthier You
At Diets2Go, we make it a point to support local farms and local businesses. We source all our ingredients for all our menus which are updated every two weeks from local farms and deliver all over. Our entire range of halal certified meats also comes from local meat producers, and our dedicated keto and vegan menus feature recipes that use fresh seasonal, local produce.
This way, you get all the vitamins and nutrients your body needs while getting to experience all the flavours that the UK has to offer. We believe that a healthy diet is a well-rounded diet and that is what we are all about.
To learn more about our meal prep services, contact Diets2Go today. Our chefs and staff are always happy to answer your questions!