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Food Waste: Tips from Our Readers

Food Waste

We waste close to half of the food that we produce, and it’s not good for the planet or for our pocketbooks.

During the American Wasteland giveaway, I asked you guys to share some of the ways that you reduce food waste in your kitchens. You had some excellent ideas, and I thought it was worth sharing them! Got your own tips for reducing food waste? I’d love to hear them! Feel free to share your tips and tricks in the comments.

A few of you mentioned that you try to reduce food waste by cooking less food. Giveaway winner Lane Richards said:

I reduce our food waste by only cooking and buying what we need. There’s only two of us in the house so when I cook dinner, I cook in 2-4 portions; just enough food for lunch/dinner left overs (which saves in meal preparations a couple nights a week).

Rebecca makes a great point about food that does go bad: you can still compost it! She says:

we’ve tried to make a conscious effort to fix only the amount of food we need and buy accordingly. but what we do waste I try to compost or feed to our menagerie of pets (if’s it’s safe/healthy) before throwing anything away.

You can also combat food waste by repurposing your leftovers, like Leah P:

I’ve become a master at constructing meals out of leftovers! there’s not much that doesn’t taste great in a stew, or over rice. anything that’s past the point of being edible, i compost.

Commenter Anna had a great tip for stretching that food budget while reducing waste at the same time: “I save all the ends of my vegetables in the freezer and then use them to make stock for soups!” The tops of carrots, stems from herbs and leafy greens, and other veggie leavings are full of flavor. Boil them into a broth, then strain out the veggie bits.

Overall, you guys emphasized cooking just enough and planning ahead, which I think Elizabeth Kountouris exemplified in her comment:

I have found the greatest way to reduce my waste is to plan meals. I go in my kitchen every Friday, see what I have stocked, then look online at the ads of my neighbourhood stores (less transport cost and supports the local economy) and visit our local farmer market. I have a notebook with 21 spots for the coming week that I take with me. Some of the spots have entries to include what I have onhand. I buy enough to fill the spots and stop.

I found this really difficult to start, but now love it.

Let’s continue the conversation right here! Do you guys have any other tips for reducing food waste?

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by theogeo

One comment
  1. Peter

    Funny, I don’t see anything about people eating leftovers for breakfast! We just stick ours away. If non-vegans can do it with pizza, why not us? There’s little vegan convenience food out there, so it’s good to have snackable bits sitting around. And anything without salt or other harmful substances, peels or stems from preparation especially, goes into the compost heap, which we use to grow our own food.

    Glad to hear that others are composting too!

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