3 Things You Can Do To Reduce Food Waste
Community Reduce your carbon footprint and the amount of food waste produced in your household with these three easy, straightforward tips.
About 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted each year globally, according to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. “Reducing that by one quarter could feed all the world’s hungry,” says Shonah Chalmers, Culinary Program Coordinator at Toronto’s Humber College. Consumers can make a difference by changing how they buy, prepare, and eat food. Here are three healthy, cost-effective, and sustainable ways to reduce food waste, according to Shonah:
1. Buy local and organic
Most communities have local farmer’s markets that sell fresh, affordable organic meats and produce, free of pesticides, growth hormones, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). You support the local economy but not the excessive fuel consumption and carbon emissions of long-distance transport. As for shelf life, local produce actually lasts longer in your fridge because it hasn’t been sitting on a truck for several weeks. In winter, consider locally produced greenhouse or hydroponic produce available at many main grocery chains.
2. Get more creative in the kitchen
Swap takeout and prepackaged for home cooking to cut waste, save money, and be healthier. Create a weekly meal plan to ensure that you buy only what you need and avoid pitching spoiled food later. Cut waste further by using all parts of your vegetables, meats, and fish. For example, think root to stem with your celery by roasting the root, simmering the stalks in soups and stews, and sprinkling the leaves in salads. Or try canning and preserving to enjoy the flavour of local seasonable produce throughout the year.
3. Support grocers, restaurants, and hotels with sustainable food practices
The food services industry is moving to more sustainable practices. With a quick search online, you can find grocers selling locally grown produce and meats, restaurants crafting menus around local, sustainable and renewable fare, and hotels distributing unused food from events to soup kitchens and homeless shelters.