Did you know that the edible food you are throwing out is sent to landfills, where it rots and produces methane gas—the second most common gas?
Actually, about one-third of all food produced in the world is thrown away or wasted due to numerous reasons. That equals to approximately 1.3 billion tons every year.
These numbers seem overwhelming; this dangerous practice can be reduced if you follow these easy, but helpful tips we are going to present in this article.
1. Shop Smart
Instead of buying in bulk, which research has shown that leads to more food waste, try making a list of items you need to buy to stop yourself from impulse buying and thus reduce food waste.
2. Store Food Correctly
More people are not aware that storing fruits and vegetable improperly can lead to premature ripening and rotten produce. There are certain products such as potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, cucumbers and onions that should never be refrigerated, but kept at room temperature.
To prevent food spoilage you should separate foods producing more ethylene gas from those foods that don’t produce ethylene gas.
Foods that produce ethylene gas while ripening include:
• Green onionsSeparate these foods from ethylene-sensitive produce like potatoes, apples, leafy greens, berries and peppers to prevent premature spoilage.
3. Learn to Preserve
Food preservation techniques like fermenting, pickling, drying, canning, freezing and curing are methods that can make your food last longer, thus reducing waste and most importantly, you will save money as well. For instance, canning an excess of ripe apples and converting them into apple sauce, or pickling fresh carrots will provide you with a delicious treat that even your children will like it.
4. Keep Your Fridge Clutter-Free
While having a overly filled fridge can be a bad thing for food waste, keeping a well-organized fridge where you can clearly see foods and know when they were purchased is a good thing when it comes to reduce food waste.
Using the FIFO method (“first in, first out“) can be very helpful, for example, if you a buy a new carton of berries, place the old one in front of the newer one, so to make sure the older food gets used not wasted.
6. Save Leftovers
When it comes to storing leftovers, make sure you use a glass container, instead an opaque container, in order not to forget the food. If it happens t cook a lot and always have leftovers, designate a day to use up any that have stored in the fridge, in order to avoid tossing your food.Additionally, it helps save you time and money.
7. Eat the Skin
When it comes to eating fruits, veggies and chicken, people often remove the skin, but you should know that most nutrients are found in the outer layer of produce and in a poultry skin. For instance, apple skin has rich content of fiber, vitamins, mineral and antioxidants, essential for fighting cancer.
When it comes to chicken skin, it contains a large amount of antioxidant selenium, which helps combat inflammation in the body.
Apart from chicken and apple skin, these benefits are found also in the outer layers of potatoes, carrots, cucumbers, mangoes, kiwis and eggplants are also edible and nutritious.
Eating the skin is delicious, but it also helps save money and reduce food waste.
8. Eat the Yolk
While most people avoid eating the egg yolk from the fear that they increase cholesterol levels, studies have shown that egg yolks are abundant in nutrients, including protein, vitamin A, iron, selenium and B vitamins, and moreover dietary cholesterol has a small effect on cholesterol levels.
However, if you don’t like the taste of egg yolks, you can add them to other recipes to mask the flavor. Egg yolks can be used as an ultra-moisturizing hair mask.
9. Be a Seed Saver
Fall is the season when you can enjoy pumpkin, which offer a huge array of nutrients, you can also use the pumpkin seeds that are also tasty and loaded with nutrients and vitamins like magnesium, essential for heart and blood health, and also regulating blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
Instead of throwing away the pumpkin seeds which leads to food waste, you can simply wash and dry them, then toss them with a little olive oil and salt, and toast hem in the oven.
10. Blend It Up
The stems, ends and peels of produce aren’t appetizing in their whole form, but adding them to blender can be a delicious way to make yourself a nutrient-packed smoothie and thus reduce food waste.
11. Make Homemade Stock
Instead of throwing away, you can use sauté vegetable scraps like the tops, stalks, peels and any other leftover and combine them with some olive oil or butter, then add water and let them simmer, to enjoy a flavorsome vegetable broth.
12. Perk Up Your Water
One of the best ways to increase your water intake is to make it tastier by using the peels from citrus fruits, apples and cucumbers. Thus you will reduce food waste and prevent dehydration.
13. Get Friendly With Your Freezer
An easy and simple way to preserve your food is by freezing it. When it comes to greens that are a bit too soft and you can’t use them in your favorite salad, you can put them in a freezer-safe bags or containers and used them at later date in smoothies and other recipes.
For example, you can combine herbs with olive oil and chopped garlic, then frozen in ice cube trays for a tasty addition to sautés and other dishes.
14. Pamper Yourself
Instead of spending money on expensive commercial beauty products that often contain harmful chemicals, you can use certain food products to prepare a homemade skincare product like a scrub or a mask.
You can combine avocados that are packed with healthy fats, antioxidants and vitamin E with small amount of honey to make a perfect luxurious combination you can use on your face or hair.
You can also make an invigorating body scrub by combining used coffee grounds with small amount of sugar and olive oil.
Applying cool tea bags or excess cucumber slices to your eyes helps you eliminate puffiness.
All the food-preservation techniques we mentioned above, are perfect methods for reducing food dramatically, and save money and time as well.