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Creative Ways to Stop Wasting Food 

May 12, 2021

Food waste and trash can on blue background, concept of garbage sorting

Every year in the United States, Americans produce about 40 million tons of food waste. 

Unfortunately, food waste is an issue that is much worse than the guilt we feel when discarding uneaten foods in the trash. For instance, wasting food contributes to climate change ; as food rots in landfills, it produces methane gas.

Also, it is important to acknowledge all the natural resources necessary for producing food. For example, consider the water used in agriculture or gas used for food transportation. 

The good news is that with a few changes in our routine, we can reduce food waste. Here are some creative ways to do so:

Stick to Your Grocery Shopping List

One of the easiest ways to produce food waste is by buying more than you need. 

The most effective method to avoid buying more than you need is to make a grocery shopping list of foods you consume regularly.

Also, it is helpful to keep track of foods that you frequently end up throwing away. Once you identify which foods are not a favorite in your kitchen, you can either buy smaller portions or skip buying those foods for a while.

Store Food Smartly 

Sometimes we don’t eat leftovers simply because we forget about them. Therefore, an effective way to avoid food waste is to store food in glass or see-through containers that allow you to see the food. 

It is also helpful to add a label that indicates the storage date. 

Furthermore, it’s important to store foods that produce ethylene gas separately from those sensitive to this gas. Otherwise, ethylene-sensitive foods ,  such as potatoes, berries, carrots, and broccoli ,  will rot faster.

Examples of ethylene producing foods are:

  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Avocados
  • Figs
  • Tomatoes
  • Pears

Have a “Leftover Food” Day

Committing to a leftover day is a great way to reduce food waste. Here are some tips and leftover recipes to try out: 

  • Smoothies: Blend up leftover veggies ,  such as spinach and kale ,  and fruits with some milk and ice… breakfast is served! 
  • Pasta: Boil your pasta with some garlic. Then, drain the pasta and add leftover veggies. Finish up with some seasoning and parmesan cheese. 
  • Kitchen Sink Meals: Leftover fried rice is a tasty meal for which you can use leftover rice and vegetables. For this recipe, start by frying your leftover veggies in a pan with oil. After 3 minutes, add the rice and keep stirring. Add sesame oil and seasoning of your preference. Lastly, add an egg and stir to scramble until it is cooked. 
  • Flavor up your drinks: Give a tasty twist to your sparkling water by adding those leftover fruits you have stored in the freezer or fridge. Our favorites are cantaloupe and berries! 

Tidy Up Your Fridge 

You are unlikely to eat those leftovers if your containers are out of sight and sitting on the back of your fridge. To avoid this issue, make sure that your fridge is always clean and organized. Likewise, prioritize cleaning your fridge at least once a week. This way, you’ll be aware of what leftovers you need to eat as soon as possible.

Stick to Portions that’s the Best for Your Dietary Needs

Sometimes we felt so hungry that we thought we could eat three meals at once, but then we realized we weren’t able to finish all that food. 

To avoid food waste, it is important to make conscious choices and stick to your usual portion or recommended dietary guidelines when feeling hungry. If you still feel hungry after eating your meal, you can always have dessert or a snack! 

At Z.E.N. Foods, we provide tasty and healthy meal plans with adequate portion servings, so you’ll feel full and satisfied with minimum to none leftovers. Reach out to us at (310) 205-9368. We’re here to help!

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