Home Healthy Nutrition Tips How to Reduce Food Waste While Getting Healthy Meals on the Table

How to Reduce Food Waste While Getting Healthy Meals on the Table

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Most of us are aware that there’s all the time something we could possibly be doing to scale back waste and have a constructive impression on the planet, but arising with ideas on what those steps are might depart us scratching our heads. Luckily, there are guides with a whole lot of ideas, thanks to books like The (Almost) Zero-Waste Guide: 100+ Tips for Reducing Your Waste Without Changing Your Life by Melanie Mannarino, which includes tips for being less wasteful with what you eat, how you live in your house, and in your group, plus more.

You might have heard about some individuals striving to achieve a “zero waste” way of life—they only refill one mason jar with waste at the finish of the yr—however there are achievable steps the remainder of us can do to make improvements, particularly when it comes to our food habits. 

“The concept behind (virtually) zero waste is that we will all do something,”  says Mannarino. “You don’t have to go to such extremes. There are so many small, everyday actions we can take and behaviors we can change that will make a big difference in how we treat the planet. It’s about small lifestyle shifts.” 

Here, Mannarino shares tips on how one can scale back food waste and run a greener, more healthy kitchen—just in time for Earth Day on April 22 and beyond!

Eat leftovers. Seriously, make buddies with the concept that for those who make an enormous pot of black bean soup tonight, tomorrow you’ll be able to strain 1 / 4 cup and use them as quesadilla filling—after which the subsequent night time incorporate it into a grain bowl with roasted peppers and onions, Mannarino suggests. 

“Every time I open the fridge for a meal, I look at what food is already prepared and ready to be repurposed into a new dish,” she says. “I’ve been enjoying Indian-inspired salads all week, centered around the Chicken Tikka takeout I got Monday night. Toss it with some sliced cucumbers, carrots, lettuce, and toasted naan broken into bite-sized bits—topped with a little raita—and it doesn’t feel like leftovers at all, it’s a brand new meal.” Get extra tips on how to clean up leftovers right here.

Avoid recent produce going dangerous. Many of us buy recent, healthy food at the grocery store with the greatest intentions however then get busy—or lazy—and overlook about it till we attempt to guess the vegetable in that gnarly, mucky bag. 

Keep recent meals seen, Mannarino suggests. “It’s a healthy-eating trick, but it’s also a zero-waste one: Put your perishable fruits and veggies on the refrigerator shelves. If those strawberries are front and center when you open the fridge door, you won’t forget about them.” (Related: Don’t wash your berries forward of time! They’ll go dangerous quicker. Just give them a rinse proper before eating.)

“Years ago I started putting my fresh herbs in a tall glass of water and storing them in the fridge like flowers,” says Mannarino. “It keeps them fresher longer—and I haven’t had to face a slimy bag of forgotten dill since.” 

Practice portion control that’s good for the planet. When you’re watching your weight, you could be tempted to buy the single-serving luggage of snacks so you’re less doubtless to overeat. But every tiny bag creates waste. “We’re told that for portion control, single-serve packages of food are smarter,” says Mannarino. “But for zero-waste ambitions, it’s better to reduce packaging and buy in bulk.” 

It’s typically cheaper to purchase the greater sizes and then portion your favorite meals yourself in reusable silicone zip-top luggage or jars. “I’m a sucker for potato chips—I could and have eaten an entire family-size bag in a day. Now I rip open the bag, portion the chips into a few more manageable servings—in either reusable snack bags or little metal containers with lids—and tuck them in the pantry.”  

Buy bulk meals the proper method. If you will have the area, shopping for a large container of a food merchandise at a warehouse club or wholesale membership may be economical and reduce down on food packaging. Bulk could be great, as long as it’s one giant package deal of whatever food—like rice, or ketchup, says Mannarino.  “The issue comes with the large packages filled with individually-packaged items. Also, the trouble comes when we get so dazzled by the amazing value of the giant package that we buy it, and then never really eat it. That creates food waste and packaging waste.” 

Make use of scraps. “My mom always scrubbed her carrots, rather than peeling them,” says Mannarino. “As a kid, I thought that was weird. Now, as an adult who’s trying to manage the food waste leaving our home, I think it’s genius! Eat the apple skins, the potato skins, all the skins! And what you don’t eat on the food at the time, you can repurpose. My toaster-oven/air fryer turns those skins into a crispy and delicious snack when I season the potatoes with salt or the apples with cinnamon.”  

Mannarino additionally makes do-it-yourself broths and stocks from the ends of vegetables, like carrot tops, shitake mushroom stems, broccoli stalks, corn cobs with out the kernels and herb stems. She shops veggies scraps in her freezer and turns them into vegetable stock. For extra tasty ways to repurpose your scraps, take a look at Max La Manna, a zero-waste chef.

Don’t dump that boiled water. While decreasing food waste is usually prime of mind in the kitchen, problem your self to take into consideration decreasing water waste—and power—as nicely this Earth Day. “I love using hot cooking water to kill weeds and unwanted grass that pokes up through my patio stones,” says Mannarino. “Or, if I want to save it, I’ll use it as a base for broth (made with my veggie scraps). If it was plain water that I used to steam hard-boiled eggs, for example, I might just let it cool to room temp and then use it to water the garden.”




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