Food Waste food waste

Published on December 30th, 2011 | by Chris Keenan

0

Simple Ways to Reduce Everyday Food Waste (Part 2)

food waste

Here is part two of our article on how to not let pound after pound of wasted food end up in a trash bag outside the back door. Did you miss part one? You can check out tips 1-4 right here!

5. Monitor Your Trash

Take a one-week period and watch what goes into your garbage. Don’t just take a mental note; write it down in a notebook for analysis and adjust your habits accordingly.

Did you toss out a partial box of stale cereal? Purchase a smaller box or find a more airtight way to store it next time. Are you seeing a lot of tossed out leftover food? Either prepare a smaller quantity next time or make a concerted effort to eat the rest in the few days following the meal. Check out how the United Kingdom is already way ahead of the United States when it comes to reducing food waste.

6. Check Your Refrigerator Settings

Setting your fridge at exactly 39 degrees will keep your food safe and make it last longer. Studies indicate that the average fridge temperature is about 41 degrees, causing food to spoil more quickly. Using a fridge thermometer will allow you to maintain a perfect setting.

7. Shop More Frequently

Reducing food waste can start by making more trips to the store.

When you make that weekly trip and spend $300 in one fell swoop, you end up buying more vegetables and fruits than you could ever eat in a single week, and they end up being wasted. Supplement your weekly shopping with some smaller trips to replenish your produce and other perishables.

8. Freeze Leftovers

Not going to eat those leftovers anytime soon? Freeze them in individual servings for easy thawing.

Make sure to use a wrap that is freezer-grade. Even leftover ingredients, like tomato paste or broth, can be frozen for use later. Nuts become rancid after prolonged exposure to room temperature, yet will last nearly forever when frozen, since the oils are stabilized by the cold. Extra fruit can be stored in the freezer, as well, and then used in baking or a smoothie.

9. Buy Locally

That broccoli that just arrived at your local grocery store has probably already traveled for eight days just to get there. Since its life span is only twice that, you are left with little time for purchase and consumption.

We all don’t live in California, where there is in-season produce throughout the year, but the rest of us can still commit to buying products that are as local as possible, so our perishables will last as long as possible.

10. Understand What Labels Mean

There is a distinct difference between a sell-by date and a use-by date. The date listed as “sell-by” indicates the last day you should purchase the item from the store, yet you don’t have to consume the product immediately or by that date.

A “use-by” date indicated the last date that the product is at optimal freshness and quality. However, many products, when properly stored, are fresh long after their use-by date. The best indicator of a food starting to go bad is an odd texture, color, or odor.

11. Compost

If you do have food go bad, toss it into the compost bin rather than the trash. Just make sure that you know what you can and cannot compost. Throwing the wrong food items into the compost pile can mean disaster.

What do you do to reduce your food waste? Share away in the comments!

Image Credit: Food Waste photo via Shutterstock





Keep up with the latest sustainable food news by signing up for our free newsletter. CLICK HERE to sign up!

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


About the Author

is a green and general blog writer. He also maintains a personal cooking blog. Find Chris on Google



Comments are closed.

Back to Top ↑
  • Advertisements

  • Popular Posts


    Over-the-counter drugs might alleviate your allergy symptoms, but the side effects can be the pits. Try these food-based natural remedies for seasonal allergies instead!

    I love infographics. When I came across this one about what, how, and when to plant vegetables, I thought I’d share. Keep reading after the pic for a few of my own lessons learned.

    Herbal homemade soda is quite simple actually. Almost any herb can be used, and this lavender and lemon combination is cooling and refreshing!

    Do You Think Cilantro Tastes Like Soap? Here’s why.

    Putting a healthy meal together can be difficult on a busy weeknight. These quick, easy, healthy meals make even weeknight cooking a breeze.

    Looking for an all vegan grocery store? Even if you’re not lucky enough to have one in your town, there are lots of online options for vegan grocery shopping.

  • Advertisement

  • Search the IM Network

  • The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by, and do not necessarily represent the views of Sustainable Enterprises Media, Inc., its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.