Food waste makes up a significant part of your overall household waste and can be problematic. Not only does food waste mean a higher carbon footprint, but you are wasting money every time you throw away uneaten food.
Overall, it is estimated that American households throw away 40 percent of the food they purchase, equating to billions of dollars every year. At the same time, some households may be going hungry.
Reducing the amount of food you purchase is one of the main keys in learning how to lower the waste produced in your household. Reusing the food you might otherwise throw out can contribute to the lowering of your overall food waste as well. There are several ways to repurpose the leftover food in your home, from composting to inventing new dishes for your leftovers. Learning how to properly manage your food helps you re-purpose the waste more effectively. Follow these tips for new ways to reuse food waste.
Leftovers comprise a large part of your food waste. This might be because you have grown tired of an unfinished dish, or because the amount left over seems too small to make an entire meal from. There are ways to adopt your leftovers into your food plan and avoid throwing them out if you are committed to reducing your waste in the new year.
Try some of the following methods:
Some of the food waste you have to deal with is not in leftover dishes, but in small amounts of ingredients you did not use while cooking. This could be small offcuts of meat or fat or pieces of fruit and vegetables. Each of these items can be reused in a new dish—all you need to do is look for new recipes containing the ingredients you have remaining in your fridge and pantry. If are unused to making your own recipes, you look for suggestions online or contained within popular cookbooks.
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The key to taking advantage of these scraps is effective meal planning. There are certain recipes you can follow that incorporate small amounts of other ingredients easily, such as soups or casseroles. By planning to make at least one of these recipes every week, you have a way of using the leftover ingredients. Develop your own personalized recipes to use up items you frequently have left over and create a new favoured dish in the process.
Compost your leftover food scraps at home to enrich the soil of a garden or a potted plant. In addition to creatively using your waste, you are saving by creating your own compost instead of buying fertilizer from the store. Composting can be done outdoors or indoors, although indoor compost requires careful management. You can compost the following food waste items:
Food banks provide consumables to food-insecure individuals and families. While not all food items are acceptable contributions, there are many types of foods welcomed by a food bank or community project.
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These organizations are often run locally. Find out where your nearest food banks are and get in touch with a program director to learn what types of food can be donated. It is important to create a plan for the times and places at which you are going to donate your food. The bank may offer a collection service for the food you donate or may only accept donations at certain times throughout the day.
Special events such as a party or an evening out at a restaurant contribute to your food waste. There are a few ways to reuse the items left over from your latest gathering. Consider the following options:
Reusing the leftover food in your home is only effective if it is still safe to eat. Forgetting about your food until it is unusable prevents any of the above plans from being put into practice. Taking steps to educate yourself about how to store different types of food is important. Take care when managing your food storage:
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