7 ways to prevent food wasting with upcycling
Food waste is something that most people nowadays experience. However, it can make you spend your money unnecessarily. On the other hand, wasting food is never good as there are millions of people who don’t have access to food in the world. Whether you’re starting from scratch or have a well-organized pantry, these tips will help you get started on reducing food waste in your home.
Create a list, then follow it
Making and following a list is the first step in reducing food waste. Make a list of all the ingredients you’ll need for the weeks’ worth of meals and snacks before you go shopping. Don’t purchase anything else when you get those items home from the shop, even if they are on sale.
Learn to finish what is in the cupboard, refrigerator, and freezer.
Learn to be creative with your leftovers by incorporating them into a meal or recipe that calls for components that are comparable (such as the soup from last night’s supper). The options are endless: leftover rice can be made into fried rice, leftover meatloaf can be made into meatball subs, and leftover roast chicken tastes fantastic in sandwiches and salads. Think of soups, stews, and sauces to freeze for later use so they’ll be there when you need them.
Make a weekly grocery list and menu plan.
By making your meals in advance, you may avoid food waste in one of the simplest ways possible. It’s simple to get engrossed in the present, but doing so might result in purchasing excessive quantities of food that you later discard after not using them all.
Making a weekly menu plan can help you avoid wasting food or purchasing outdated items later on by ensuring that you only purchase what is required for each meal. To ensure that everything is prepared when it’s time to go grocery shopping, you can also create a shopping list based on your meal plan.
Make innovative use of your leftovers.
Making a new meal with your leftovers is among the simplest ways to be creative. Upcycling refers to using leftover food in ways that were never planned. You may make leftover spaghetti into lasagna by stacking it with sauce and cheese in place of ricotta cheese, or you can transform your old grilled cheese sandwiches into grilled cheese croutons for salads or soups.
Try substituting uncooked chicken breasts for beef tacos if you have a surplus of meat of any kind on hand. When cooked with shredded lettuce, guacamole, and salsa verde on top, they taste fantastic and are healthier than beef since they have less fat per serving size.
Since everyone has already eaten their main dish earlier in the day before heading out again after work/school activities, etc., you can also utilize leftovers creatively by switching up your meal plan such that there is enough additional food at each mealtime.
You may freeze your food, can it, or pickle it to preserve
Although freezing food is a fantastic method to preserve it, you can also can or pickle your leftovers. Freeze your food: Instead of purchasing fresh veggies, consider utilizing the frozen ones you already have in soups and casseroles.
Fruits and vegetables are preserved by canning when they are sealed in jars with boiling water. High-acid fruits like pears, peaches, and tomatoes respond well to this technique. Pickling is gradually adding vinegar or salt brine solution to food, such as cucumbers and beets, until the latter becomes soft enough to be consumed.
Learn other ways to preserve food
By preventing food from going bad in the first place, you can reduce food waste. Put vegetables in the refrigerator. This will prolong the freshness of your fruits and vegetables.
Store your produce apart from your fruits and veggies in bags or containers. Because each sort of produce has distinct requirements for temperature, moisture, and light exposure, separating them will help them survive longer. Additionally, avoid washing fruits before using them since doing so eliminates the waxes that act as natural preservatives, which makes fruits decay more quickly than if you wait to wash them until you’re ready to consume them.
Don’t allow anything to go bad. Store all sorts of vegetables individually so they don’t get mixed up with other things like meat products and help preserve the best conditions for each item.
Share food with your friends or family members
You may also think about sharing food with your friends or family members. When you have food to be thrown away, just get in touch with your close friends or family members. Then you can ask whether they want the food or not.
Never throw away food
We are all, in actuality, squandering food. You may not be leaving rotting bread on the counter or tossing away half of your groceries, but you’re still definitely squandering part of what you spend. If that’s not enough to persuade you, think about this: A 2014 research by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) found that Americans waste away roughly 40% of all edible food that enters our homes each year, amounting to about $165 billion.
That much money is being discarded and dumped in landfills. Why do we do it, then? The apparent response is that we either don’t know how to deal with leftovers after they’ve been lying in our fridge for too long or that Whole Foods only had two heads of cauliflower, so we had to buy both. However, saving money and avoiding food waste won’t help us lessen our influence on the environment.
Planning your meals in advance is the greatest thing you can do to prevent food waste. You’ll be able to do this to prevent making impulsive purchases and overbuying, which results in more food being wasted at home. Additionally, you may repurpose the food from your last dinner by creating something new, such as tacos using leftover chicken thighs.