These tips for reducing food waste are sponsored by Eden. All thoughts are my own.
With Earth Day right around the corner, lots of people are starting to think of ways they can be a little easier on the planet. I’m not the most “green” person on the planet, but having grown up in a farming family I definitely do what I can for conservation efforts. And for me, part of those conservation efforts start in my own kitchen with reducing food waste.
In the US, we throw away a surprising 40% of the food we grow. Having emptied out a few (dozen) packages of produce that’s gone by before it could be used I know it’s an easy problem to have. So here are a few tips to help your family with reducing food waste.
7 Tips for Reducing Food Waste
Meal Planning – When you plan your meals in advance there’s less chance that you’ll end up buying perishables that you’re not going to have time to use. Try to schedule the meals with fresh produce and meats earlier in the week; that way if you need to change things around at all, everything should still be good to eat.
Check the Dates – I first check the dates of my perishables when I’m in the store. I try to select the ones with the furthest expiration dates so that they’ll last the longest at home. It also helps you be aware of how quickly you need to move on using them. When you are stocking your kitchen or pantry when you get home, put the items expiring sooner in the front, and store the new purchases behind them.
Use It Or Lose It – Once a week or so I do a quick survey of the fridge and freezer to see if we’re getting close to the dates on anything. I try to use those products in our snacks and meals so we don’t end up wasting them.
Brown Bag It – End up with leftovers of your favorite salad or your kiddos’ favorite mac & cheese? Take it to work or send it to school the next day. This is one place where we need to work harder; we always refrigerate leftovers with the intention to eat them, but often they end up in the trash a couple days later.
Does It Have a Second Life? – Did your bananas get a little extra ripe before you could eat them all? Great, use them in your favorite banana bread recipe. Peaches a little too soft or strawberries just about to get smooshy? Toss them in the blender and make your favorite smoothie recipe.
Think About How You – It’s so frustrating to open a barely-used box of cereal or crackers to find the entire contents have gotten stale. I’ve been adding to my air-tight container collection over the past couple of years and they have greatly helped with reducing food waste.
Imperfect Produce Needs Love, Too – At our local grocery store they have a section of fruit that’s got a few bumps and bruises. They might not look perfect, but that doesn’t mean they don’t still taste great.
There’s a new company called Eden that feels the same way about those irregular fruits and veggies. Which is why they’re using them in their new Eden cold-pressed juices. They launched on Kick Starter today and as of right this minute they’re already 87% funded! Head on over and give them your backing if you’d love to sip on one of their first five cold-press juice flavors: Citrus (yum!), Green, Fresh, Seed, and Root.
To celebrate their launch, Eden is giving away three $150 VISA gift cards with an easy one-step entry! Giveaway closed.