According to a report by the CEC, one-third of all food produced globally is wasted, with the average Canadian consumer throwing out an estimated 170 kg of food a year. Of that, 43% of the waste is happening at home, so we thought we’d share our favourite tips for reducing waste. Added bonus - save on your grocery bills in the process!
1. Organize Your Kitchen
The first step to avoiding food waste is taking stock of what you already have in your fridge, freezer and cupboards. We like to do this every three months, which is perfect for the change of the season. See if you have any products that are expiring soon and find creative recipes to utilize those products.
2. Plan Your Meals
Design a meal plan around what you already have. Ok, you don’t need to have your week planned to a T, but having a general idea of what you want to eat, if you have any plans to eat out, or if you are going away for a few days, will help you better plan what you need to buy.
3. Create a Shopping List
Now that you know what you have, what you need, and what you’re cooking for the week, make a list of all the items that you need to buy. TIP: If you’re someone that can’t use large quantities of veggies, or want to always have some in stock, then aim to buy a variety of fresh and frozen produce. Frozen produce is just as nutritious and ensures that you only use what you need. .
4. Freeze Leftovers
Made too much soup or curry? Just freeze it. This will not only cut down on food waste but having pre-made and ready to eat food in the freezer makes it super simple to whip up a quick meal on a busy weeknight.
5. Keep it Simple with 5-Ingredient Meals
How many times have you bought a fancy ingredient for a recipe and never used it again? Cooking with a few ingredients not only helps to keep things super simple and quick, but we’ve done a bit of experimenting and it’s also quite delicious. Not to mention that it helps you minimize food waste and utilize all ingredients at hand.
Creative ways to turn tossing into saving!
Spiralize your stocks! Take stubborn stocks (broccoli, cauliflower) that you would normally toss, put them through a spiralizer and add to a salad, pasta or stir fry dish.
Utilize your vegetable’s leafy tips! Instead of removing the leafy tops off your carrots or celery, chop them up and add them to whatever you are making. They are great in homemade patties or sauces.
Try it dried! Ever wonder what you can do with the cores of different fruits like apples and pineapples? With a bit of time in the oven, you can turn your leftovers into delicious and nutritious snacks.
Make a broth! Vegetable leftovers are perfect for making your own soup.
Puree and add. Sometimes we throw out the best parts of fruits and vegetables! Don’t be afraid to puree some watermelon rinds or orange skins and toss them into whatever you are making (especially good in something sweet!)