There’s nothing like walking into a supermarket filled with newly-stocked items and seeing the shelves overflowing with food. You go grocery shopping with all the best intentions, but by the end of the week, wilted vegetables, mouldy bread, and leftovers go to waste. Not only does this make your wallet feel lighter, but it’s also a big bummer for Mother Nature.
Food waste is a significant issue. Globally, an estimated 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted yearly, and it’s only getting worse (World Bank). This issue affects everyone, from farmers to consumers, and it’s time we start taking steps to reduce the amount of food we waste.
In this article, we’ll explore how much food is wasted in the world, the impact of food waste, and five easy steps to cut down on the food you waste in your kitchen.
Introduction to Food Waste
The term “food waste” refers to all edible material thrown away, spoiled, or uneaten; this includes food harvested and grown but never reaches the market because of overproduction or spoilage.
The vast majority of this food waste comes from developed countries, with the United States and Europe accounting for the lion’s share. The Times of Malta estimates that wasted food costs Maltese households between €360 and €450 annually.
Food waste is a huge problem, not only because of the cost associated with wasted food but also because of the environmental impact. Food waste accounts for 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and according to estimates, food waste would emit the third most greenhouse gasses if it were a country.
5 Easy Steps to Cut Down Food Waste in Your Kitchen
1. Shop Smart
The first step to reducing food waste is to shop smarter. Before going to the store, take an inventory of what you already have in your kitchen, which will help you avoid buying more than you need.
It’s also essential to plan your meals, helping you avoid buying ingredients that you won’t use or will go bad before you can use them.
Finally, it’s also essential to read the expiration dates on your food, as it will help you ensure that you’re eating fresh food and not food that has gone bad.
2. Get creative with leftovers:
Leftovers can often get a bad rap, but with creativity, they can become delicious and nutritious meals that save you time and money.
The first step in getting creative with leftovers is to embrace the art of repurposing. Instead of just reheating the same meal, try turning it into a new dish. For example, leftover chicken can be turned into a salad, stir-fried, or wraps. Try adding different herbs, seasoning and spices to your leftovers to give them a fresh flavour. You can also add a sauce or dressing to add moisture and taste to your dish.
Another way to get creative with leftovers is to experiment with different cooking methods. Try pan-frying, roasting, or grilling portions for a crispy, crunchy texture. You can also turn leftovers into soups, stews, or casseroles for a comforting, hearty meal. Sometimes, all it takes to make leftovers feel new is a change in presentation;
Try serving your leftovers in
- bed of rice or quinoa
- colourful salad
- stacked sandwich
3. Donate or Compost What You Can’t Use
If you find yourself with food that you won’t be able to use before it goes bad, consider donating it or composting it. Many food banks and soup kitchens accept donations of unopened, unexpired food. If you have food that you won’t be able to use, consider donating it to a local food bank.
Food Bank In Malta:
Composting is also an option. If you have food past its expiration date but still edible, consider composting it. This will help reduce your food waste and is a great way to turn food scraps into nutrient-rich soil for your garden; you can use a compost bin in your kitchen to fertilise your plants.
4. Storing food properly
Proper storage is vital to reducing food waste in your kitchen. Ensuring that certain fruits and vegetables are stored in airtight containers or in the refrigerator can help extend their shelf life.
Freezing food is a great way to reduce food waste. Most foods can be frozen, which will help you avoid throwing out food that’s gone bad. If you know you won’t be able to use a particular ingredient before it goes bad, freeze it.
5. Planning your meals with Fortify:
Meal planning is a crucial step in reducing food waste in your kitchen. With the help of Meal Prepping, you can plan your meals for the week in advance, which will help you avoid buying more food than you need.
Also planning your meals ahead of time, you’ll be able to shop for the exact ingredients you need, reducing the likelihood of food going bad before you can use it.
Fortify makes this process even easier by helping customers plan their meals for the week, reducing food waste from forgotten leftovers and unfinished meals and preventing the destruction of edible items, saving you time and money.
Furthermore, we use fresh, seasonal ingredients in our meals, reducing the chances of having to throw away spoiled or overripe food. We also work with local suppliers to minimise food waste from transportation and storage.
In conclusion, reducing food waste in your kitchen can be challenging. However, with the help of Fortify Meals, you can have all the resources and tools you need to make a difference. So why wait? Using Fortify Meals saves time, reduces food waste, and helps build a more sustainable future for our planet.