I’m not here to bore you with long explanations about food, consumerism, and waste. The fact is 1,300 kilograms of food gets wasted every year. For a clearer idea, just think of it this way: One-third of the world’s food only to goes to the trash bin every year. For every three KitKat bars, one just falls to the floor, untouched. *sobs*
Food waste is different from food loss―the latter is caused by mishandled deliveries or poor production, the former is simply throwing away food that is still consumable or because it was allowed to sit past its consumption date. You know how you place some mangoes in the fridge, fresh and perfect, only to touch them again when it’s time to throw them out?
The problem isn’t going away and is becoming more apparent as the world faces the threat of coming to the end of its resources. Angelo Comsti, editor-in-chief of F&B Report, previously told us that this is the challenge the food industry will be tackling head-on this year.
The challenge isn’t limited to the professionals. Consumers can jump in and the effects will not only reduce the contents of your trash bins but also increase the money in your wallet.
Everyone has encountered a grocery shopping list, a first and useful tool to make sure you shop for the right food at the right amount. Expand on that by making lists of dishes you or your family enjoy and often consume fully. This way, you can also learn more about your eating habits and where the waste comes from. If you want to take it to the next level, you can also list down the food that you throw away to keep track of how much you’re wasting. The added guilt will also be a motivator.
For fruits and vegetables that you bought too much of, try pickling them. My mom learned the trick when we were gifted a sackful of small onions. If done right, pickled veggies and preserved fruits can last years and would even make good gifts to your loved ones. Try this recipe from Bon Appetite.
When it comes to bread, meats, and fruits, you can opt to freeze them if you know you won’t be eating them for a while. Freezing is a no-effort way to make sure you don’t waste your food until you’ve finally decided on what to do with them. It is also helpful when you are a big family who shops big quantities at a time.
In a report by Packing Digest, convenience is key when it comes to getting the average consumer to be more conscious about their waste. Here is where the easy-lids and the resealable packages come in handy. You are more likely to save leftovers when you don’t have to worry about where and how to store them, right? When shopping for snacks, try to find ones with reusable containers that are easy to use even on-the-go.
It’s almost a Homer Simpson “D-OH” piece of advice, but most of the time we waste food when we forget what we have at home. Before heading out to shop or to call the delivery man, look at what you can do with what’s left in the fridge. You can come up with something creative or discover how you’re the food whiz. It’s what Michelin-starred chef Davide Oldani does. If you need some inspo, watch The FridgeCam Show by SortedFood.
Art by Yayie Motos
Photo courtesy of Pixabay