I was cleaning out our fridge the other day and was happy that we can compost everything. Some things can only be composted in the city program which means resources are used for this process. So while it is great that they are not going into the landfill there is still an environmental impact to composting. The solution is to be less wasteful with food.
We try to menu plan to not only take advantage of sales but also to ensure that we have less food waste in the end. Make sure you only buy what you need. Sometimes the deals just seem so good that people end up buying more than they really need and then it doesn't get used and becomes waste. If a recipe calls for something that we don't use on a regular basis then we look for another recipe that also calls for it so we can use it all up. If we have bought meat we make sure to separate it into smaller portions so we can easily grab what we need out of the freezer and not be cooking 6 chicken breasts just because they were packaged together in the store.
Cook only what you need. We make enough for dinner and then lunch the next day. But sometimes we don't take it for lunch (for some reason this always happens with pasta) and then we find it in the back of the fridge and we have to compost it. Now we try to watch portion sizes to make sure we are not making too much.
Keep an eye on expiry dates. I check them in the store before I even buy them so make sure it won't expire before I can use it. If fruit or vegetables are getting to the point of being over ripe then use them up! I freeze bananas for banana bread and smoothies. Strawberries also get frozen for smoothies, bread gets cut up for croutons, peaches and apples become delicious peach/apple crisp, veggies become the base for veggie stock.
The biggest thing to avoid food waste is proper storage. It can be a real PITA to keep fruit and veggies fresh. I find that our fridge keeps them for a really long time which does help. Not every type of fruit and veggie can be stored in the same manner so find out what works best for what you have. I don't use any plastic bags or wrap to store produce and have found that they last longer this way.
You know what you want to avoid......clean out the fridge nights. I HATED those as a kid. Seriously, they were the worst nights ever because it was never the good leftovers that were left.
What do you do to reduce the amount of food waste that you generate?
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