Today's blog post comes from Nutrition Intern Alysa Velasquez. Enjoy these simple tips to reduce food waste.
In honor of Earth day being a couple weeks ago, I am going to write about the ways in which we can reduce the amount of food that we waste! As we enter college, we begin to learn how to grocery shop for ourselves. But it happens too often that we purchase food that we won’t eat and it eventually is tossed from getting spoiled. Even I am guilty of buying tomatoes or spinach that sits in my refrigerator and gets tossed out at the end of the week. About one third of all food in the U.S. is thrown out into our trash cans. This amount of food waste can feed up to almost 100 million people!
Here are 5 tips to reduce our food waste.
1. KEEP IT. Unless it is showing clear signs of spoilage or mold, check the condition of the food before tossing it. If the food still looks and smells wholesome, keep it.
2. CARVE IT. Cut off bruised portions of produce instead of tossing out the whole thing. Even small actions, such as, carving out brown spots in an avocado or banana, cutting off moldy sections of cheeses, or not taking off the crust of your bread, help reduce your food waste.
3. FREEZE IT. Store perishable foods in the freezer! If you are making a meal that only requires a small portion of an ingredient, such as fish or berries, freeze the unneeded part immediately after purchasing. Take an estimate of how much you are going to use in the week, and freeze the rest.
4. EAT IT. Instead of going to the grocery store every weekend, try eating all the food you have before shopping for more. Eat the can of beans with the last bit of cheese and almost expired salsa that you have sitting in the back of the pantry or fridge. Use all your frozen berries and make a small smoothie. This will help reduce the amount of food waste in your garbage.
5. CHILL IT. Store your jars of marinara sauce or salsa in the refrigerator before opening. This will help your sauces last longer. If your jars are chilled before opening, bacteria exposed by the environment is less likely to grow and cause mold.