Let's Not Waste
Today let's talk about waste. In particular, food waste. We're all guilty of this, I know I am. I've been known to buy a bunch of celery and throw it in the back of the fridge only to two weeks later pull it out and go "oh yeah...forgot about this" and throw it out. It's awful.
A big goal of mine for 2017 was to get smarter. Smarter with my time, smarter with my money and smarter with the choices I make. Every purchase we make is a vote with our dollar and changing that mentality has made a huge impact in what companies I choose to support.
SPUD checks the boxes on all of these goals. I save time and energy shopping online, knowing that my food will be safe and is organic and a lot of the time, local too. SPUD actively encourages environmentally better choices, they get involved in the community, they support local and another reason I love SPUD that I've recently learned, is that SPUD has the lowest food waste of any grocery store in Canada. Heck yes!!
When you shop from SPUD, you can already make a difference when it comes to food waste in buying their Imperfect Produce but today I want to talk about a few other great tips to help reduce your food waste. You can then use these tips to enter SPUD's #LETSNOTWASTECHALLENGE. This is the last week of the challenge and SPUD is giving away $50 in free groceries so get on twitter and facebook and Instagram and show how you reduce food waste. Check here for full contest details and information.
Now, onto a few of my favourite ways to reduce food waste....
1) Chop, Use, Freeze, Repeat
Produce is likely the #1 food waste we all are guilty of. I always have the best intentions when I buy produce but don't always get around to using the produce I buy. To try to avoid that as soon as I get my produce I wash it, chop it and store it. By having carrots and zucchini and peppers pre-cut I'm far more likely to use them than if I have to wash them, chop a few then store the rest.
Most vegetables even hold up well to freezing so why not create a few "stir fry" packs of different veggies that you freeze in one container. Or what about a chopped banana, some spinach and a few berries for a smoothie pack?
With herbs, one of my favourite things to do is wash the entire bunch, set some aside that I know I'll use during the week then chop the rest, divide it into ice cube trays, fill with olive oil and freeze. Then whenever you go to cook, you have fresh herbs that are frozen in oil and ready to go!
2) Plan, Prepare & Do!
It sounds so simple but really and truly, meal planning is one of the best ways to reduce your food waste. If you know what you're going to eat throughout the week and you only buy what you need, chances are there won't be much room for waste. So once a week sit down, plan out your meals and make your grocery list accordingly. For me, I like to make a lot of big batch meals such as stews and soups and other crockpot recipes. I freeze half of what I make and keep the rest to eat throughout the week.
If you actually follow through and DO follow your meal plan, you'll be amazed at how much time you can save. Pick one day a week and prep as much as you can ahead of time and meal times will be so much simpler, not to mention your food waste will be reduced drastically. It's a win/win/win situation for time, convenience and waste.
3) Use Your Leftovers
A huge area we can all impact our food waste is when it comes to leftovers. When you make a meal, if you know you won't want to eat it again in the week - portion it out into containers and freeze it.
If you only use half of a stalk of celery for a recipe, chop up the rest and make a salad! Or, use the leftovers of your produce for other creative ideas. Infuse olive oil with an orange peel for a twist on homemade salad dressings. Soak a banana peel in water to create a DIY fertilizer for your plants. Purchase a countertop compost to feed your summer garden.
There are so many ways to get creative to reduce our food waste and help out our environment. What way do you reduce yours? I'd love to know!