10 Simple Tips to Reduce Food Waste in Your Home

A large varity of fruits and vegetables.

Antioxidants in fruits and vegetables help prevent diseases such as strokes, diabetes, and cancer. (Image: Ja Ma via Unsplash)

Waste not, want not! Food is one of the essential pillars of life and society. One of the basic needs for any healthy being is good nutrition and wholesome food. This is one way to achieve our daily calorie requirements. Yet, food wastage is a growing concern. Coming up with effective tips to reduce food waste is the need of the hour.

We have so many foods to choose from. Fruits and vegetables from different parts of the world are either imported or grown within the country, which makes them more accessible.

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The need to dramatically reduce food wastage

Many reports and studies have been conducted to amass data about the extensive effect food wastage has. Today, the world sees about 1.3 billion tons of food go to waste. The wastage of food is a humanitarian concern, especially knowing that many under-developed countries suffer from major malnutrition diseases because of the lack of proper nutrition.

Improve nutrition and reduce food waste. This healthy ensemble is compiled by the Nigerian Student Society to help overseas students maintain a balanced diet.
Improve nutrition and reduce food waste. This healthy ensemble is compiled by the Nigerian Student Society to help overseas students maintain a balanced diet. (Image: via NSS )

10 tips to reduce food waste

We often scrape off leftovers and half-eaten food. Untouched leftovers are easier to recycle, but what about the food that has been half-eaten? When we talk about food waste tips, the first thing to do is learn to know how much you can eat and when you eat, finish your plate before considering taking up another helping.

1. Get over the concept of ‘ugly’ food

One of the reasons we love watching MasterChef or the various food shows is that they plate the food in a gorgeous way. Making animals out of fruits makes us melt at the cuteness. But discarding a fruit or vegetable simply because it is not “looking like the said fruit” is a major reason for food wastage. An apple will taste like an apple even if it is not looking like Snow White’s apple.

2. Buy only what you need

Foodies buy and eat all they can but many a time, people living on their own end up buying things they will eventually toss away as the expiration date has arrived and gone by. Make a list of all the things you will eat. Buy only those and you can always pop into the store if you are preparing meals for friends.

3. Refrigerate beverages

Leftover wine or milk should be refrigerated and can be used later to make scrumptious desserts.

4. Do not store certain foods beyond the shelf-life

If you buy fresh produce, make sure you buy enough for three days. The same goes for eggs. This way, you can bid goodbye to rotten produce.

5. Make a compost for veggie skins

We often throw away loads of skins and these contain major nutrients. While not all skins or fruits and vegetables are edible, you can blend them up and add them as compost to your plants.

6. Make a juice out of single pieces of veggies/fruits

If you are planning to start a healthy diet, opt to blend the vegetables and fruits. This ensures lesser wastage and more nutrients entering your system.

7. Try infused water

Water tastes so much better when you add fruits and herbs to it. This concept of infused water also helps contribute to lessening food wastage.

8. Keep tinned food in the pantry

Tinned vegetables and fruits are one of the saviors and storing them properly ensures they will last long.

9. Cook in batches to reduce wastage

If you are the type to buy in bulk because you cannot go out after every third day to shop, cook in bulk and refrigerate the leftovers.

10. Know how to preserve and store

Storing food items properly also aids in preserving the food. If you keep avocados (having a high ethylene emission rate) along with apples (highly sensitive to ethylene) you will have rotten apples very soon.

Once you eat smart, you learn to shop smart. Doing your bit to reduce food waste is one major step you can take toward saving the environment. And if you still wonder how one person can cause a dramatic change, remember the Indian saying that it takes each and every drop of water to form the ocean.

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