Did you know that food consumers (i.e. anyone breathing), in the United States waste an average of 90 BILLION pounds of food every year?
You read that right, 90 BILLION POUNDS!
It’s gotten completely out of hand; food wasting is the newest American epidemic. Do you realize that 90B pounds are 21% of our total edible food supply? That would be like me buying five boxes of pasta and throwing one away as soon as I walk out of the door – just because I can. Moreover, 50% of all purchased produce is THROWN AWAY. That is a staggering amount of food going to waste.
We have to ask ourselves, what can we do to reduce the volume of food that Americans waste in a given year. Well, the brain trust at CE put our heads together and came up with five EASY steps you can incorporate into your life that will help drastically cut the waste coming out of your household. As an added bonus, we’ve even included a free printable for you to hang next to your favorite little person’s latest Picasso.
Without further ado, I give you FIVE steps to cut the food waste
- Planning your meals for the week can make your life easier... You’ll be more organized, and you’ll be less stressed out after a long day because you know exactly what you’re having for dinner. Most of all, planning helps you to reduce waste because you buy what you need for the week, AND you will save money. Here is a great tutorial to help you get started!
2. Less is More
- When you begin making your list, try to divide up your produce needs into a 1st half and 2nd half of the week category and purchase them at two separate times. By going to the store more frequently for fresh food items, you will prevent decay and spoilage that would lead you to throw out food. The same goes for fresh meat purchases.
- Some might call it a fancy word for leftovers, but repurposing has its place. Instead of eating the same meal multiple times, if that’s not your thing, take that leftover roast beef and try out this beef and noodles recipe. Your family will love it, AND you literally won't be throwing money in the trash because you didn’t eat the food you thought you would eat.. Win-Win.
4. The Great Freeze
- You know that giant part of your refrigerator, the one that holds the ice-cream and frozen peas? Use it. Instead of tossing brown bananas or wilting spinach chop them up and throw them in a bag for a healthy addition to a smoothie. Most produce and meat items can be frozen as long as they were fresh when they were purchased. You can even freeze meal leftovers as a base for a quick meal during a particularly busy night next week.
5. Get Scrappy
- Don’t throw away all of those veggie trimmings and scraps. Freezing them in a container will allow you to make a unique fresh broth or use you can even use them as compost in your flower beds or garden.
If you take anything away from this post, it should be 1. We can implement simple, low-cost practices that will have an impact in decreasing the waste that comes from your kitchen and 2. If you follow these easy steps you can and will save money. Keep this handy list in your kitchen to help you remember how easy it is to save.
To get started take a look at your refrigerator and pantry and see what items need immediate attention to save them from going rotten or not being used. Next work on a menu plan for next week and schedule your shopping trips. It’s easier than it sounds and we know you can do it!
The National Cattlmans Beef association is hosting a food waste challenge. Check out this link for more information!
Are you already a scrappy food saver? What are your favorite tips for cutting the waste?
Here is your awesome free printable to remind you of the steps to take. Click to print HERE.