Food waste is a huge issue, especially here in America. It’s not just a problem for restaurants and grocery stores. In fact, studies show that we, the consumers, waste more food at home than restaurants and grocery stores combined. We end up throwing away around 40% of the food we have! This waste affects the environment as well as our finances. Here are a few easy ways you can eliminate food waste in your life.
Don’t Peel Your Produce
Most of us peel our produce – from carrots to potatoes and everything in between. Sure, there are some things that really need peeling, like bananas and onions, but for the most part, leaving the skin on won’t hurt! In fact, by peeling the skin, you are losing a lot of nutritional value. Some people are worried about pesticides. Unfortunately, simply peeling your produce won’t eliminate this issue. Some pesticides end up burrowed deep inside of the fruit or vegetable in question. If this is a concern of yours, it’s best to get all organic produce.
Repurpose Leftover Scraps
But what about the veggies you have to peel? Good question! There are lots of things you can do with the food scraps you do accumulate. One great idea is to make your own vegetable stock. Simply collect the scraps and place them in a container in your freezer until you have about four cups. Then, put them in a pot along with an extra whole carrot, an onion, and garlic cloves. Season however you see fit – salt, pepper, bay leaves, etc. Then add about twelve cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and let simmer for about an hour. Strain the liquid and there you have it! This is a great way to make the most out of your food scraps.
Revive Old/Wilting Produce
Are your leafy greens looking a little worse for wear? Don’t throw them away just because they are wilting! There’s an easy way to revive your veggies, especially leafy greens Simply submerge them in ice water and leave the bowl in the fridge for a few hours. This will help the food spring back to life! If this doesn’t work, or you simply don’t want to do it, try using your less than picture-perfect produce in recipes where the appearance doesn’t matter, like smoothies or pesto.
Store Food Better
Do you know what produce goes where? Most of us have a certain way of storing food that may be incorrect. Whether we learned from our parents or just have an idea of how things should be stored, it’s imperative to store food properly so it doesn’t rot. Brow rice, for example, surprisingly should be stored in the fridge, while tomatoes should always be kept at room temperature. It’s easy enough to look online to see how each item should be stored.