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Elise Kranz

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5 Ways to Reduce Food Waste

Growing up I always felt we should do our best not to overtax our environment. Food waste is a challenge for me and my family because we live in an apartment building that doesn't have a compost program (even though the city we live in does take compost with it's waste removal). One of my goals this year is to try to reduce the amount of food that ends up going to waste in our home. Below are a few of the strategies I am already using or will be using to reduce our food waste.

  1. Use containers/reusable wraps. Plastic wrap, sandwich bags, and aluminum foil are really convenient, but they make up so much of my kitchen waste. I've noticed that when I switched to containers and beeswax wraps I find I rarely want to use these things. My main weakness is when I am giving away food. I don't want to lose more containers! So I am slowly collecting reusable take-out containers to give away with the food.

  2. Freeze veggie scraps and bones. Celery ends, carrot ends, broccoli stems, and cauliflower leaves are not actually garbage. I have found recently that most store bought broths I use contain ingredients I don't want like sugar or yeast. Now I am freezing these veggie scraps to use to make veggie broth or add to bone broth. If I don't want to make bone broth after a meal with bones in it (i.e. chicken legs), I also freeze the bones with a selection of veggie scraps so I can just dump it in the pot for my next batch of broth.

  3. Do a few small grocery shopping trips instead of one large one. For a year of my life I lived in Europe and had to share one European fridge with three other housemates. As a result, I had one freezer drawer and one fridge shelf for my use and that was it. I did not have the space to do a weekly grocery shop, so I would go shopping 2-3 times a week, usually on my way home from work. (I was lucky there was a supermarket on my walk home from the train station.) When I did this I rarely ever had food to throw out. I knew exactly what I had, and what needed to be used. It was really satisfying.

  4. Have a fruit/veggie bowl. Trying to stop snacking on sugar-filled treats? When I have a well stocked fruit/veggie bowl I am more likely to grab one of those as a snack. Also, letting fruits and veggies age at room temperature allows them to start to ferment, and fermented foods could benefit your gut health! There is also the added benefit of seeing what needs to be used and creatively adding those ingredients to meals.

  5. Inspect your fridge weekly. I will admit, I am not good at this one. However, when I am consistent I rarely find a questionable container at the back of my fridge.

I hope some of these tips help you live a little greener in 2018. Cheers!