Thursday, September 17, 2015

Three Ways You're Probably Wasting Food (and Money)

If you think the things below will save only small amounts of food and may not be worth the trouble, you might want to put a bigger plan into practice. The chances that you are wasting significant amounts of food is very high. As a matter of fact, the United States Department of Agriculture claims that "An average family of four leaves more than two million calories, worth nearly $1500, uneaten each year." That's a lot of food and that's a lot of money.

I seriously doubt that the readers of this blog are average. If you're looking for ways to save food and save money by saving food, you are probably a lot more aware of food waste than the average American family. Even at that, we can all find ways to cut back on wasting food.

Here are the most common ways we waste food:

1. We buy too much "fresh" produce that won't last long enough for us to eat. Things like fresh spinach, summer squash and tomatoes don't keep well. Know your vegetables and your eating habits and buy only enough at one time that you will use up.
If you find yourself with produce going bad, make a point of using it quickly. Most vegetables can be cooked and kept a few days longer if you can't eat it all right away.

2. We toss out perfectly good parts of food out of habit. Broccoli stems, radish leaves and green onion tops are among the most common, but there are others like bread heels that some people throw out. Have you ever bought broccoslaw? It's broccoli stems. Radish leaves are greens and green onion tops are... well, onions. Eat them.

3. You throw away small bits of leftover meat and vegetables. Save them in seperate containers until there is enough to make a meal, then toss them all in a pot with some spices if needed and make a stew or casserole. Add rice or barley if you like for a stew or layer the meat and vegetables with cheese or whatever you like, for a casserole. There's a "free" meal.

Food World News reports that the US wants to slash food waste by half in the next 15 years. That's a big project and I don't know how they plan to do it, but we will probably hear more about it in the future. In the meantime, we can do our part and be 'way ahead of the game before time they start telling us what to do to save it!