The following post is sponsored by the Institute of Food Technologists®. All opinions are 100% my own.
As a busy mom I’m amazed at how much food can be wasted in my own home. I’ve seen news reports on TV that show how nearly half of the food produced in the United States is never eaten. Shocking isn’t it?! I started to think, what can I do to reduce food waste in my own home? Here’s my Top 5 ways to reduce food waste…
Check expiration dates
Admittedly this is one area that I tend to be lax on, so I’ve recently stepped up my game. I’ve tried to organize my fridge so that the items that are expiring first are in front. I’ve even put sticky notes on top of items so that I can see at a glance what should be eaten first.
Wash & prep produce ASAP
If you buy organic fruits & veggies (like I do on occasion), then you know that these things can go “bad” faster than non-organic produce. So try to wash those carrots & cut them up into sticks as soon as you bring them home! Same goes for strawberries (which my hubby & daughter love). Prep them so that they can be consumed right away before they turn mushy & get fuzzy.
If you don’t think you’ll get to those organic chicken breasts, then go ahead & freeze it. Same goes for bread, leftover casseroles or even large batches of soup. Although honestly, I’m not sure who is making soup in their kitchen during these hot LA days. But think about this for the future.
See these organic blueberries pictured below? If they don’t get consumed today, then I like to freeze it & serve to my kiddo during the week on a hot afternoon as a yummy treat! I tell her that it is a frozen fruit candy. 😉
Plan your menu & buy accordingly
I admit that this one is hard. When I was working a 9-5 corporate job (with hours extending way past the 5pm hour), I had no choice but to load up my grocery cart every Sunday with food for the coming week. So at times the food that I thought I would prepare on Tuesday night didn’t always get cooked until possibly Friday night or even later. Try to be mindful of the fact that you may not get to cooking that pot roast mid-week & you may have to freeze the meat or switch your meal plans. If you are preparing a special meal later in the week, then try to plan your menu before you go shopping & buy only those things on your menu.
Have overripe bananas? Make banana bread! Stale sourdough bread in your cupboard? Make croutons! I’m sure there are dozens if not hundreds of recipes on Pinterest that show what you can do with your stale or overripe food. 🙂
I was recently introduced to a website called FutureFood 2050. FutureFood 2050 is a a multi-year program highlighting the people & stories leading the efforts for a healthier, safer & better nourished planet that’s needed to feed 9 billion+ people by 2050. There is a section on their website that highlights stories about food waste. If you’d like to receive monthly updates from FutureFood 2050, go to their home page & sign-up at the top right hand corner where it says “Email_____Get Monthly Newsfeed”
I’d love to know what you do in your home kitchen to prevent food waste. Share your tips in the comments section below!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post from Institute of Food Technologists®. All opinions remain my own.
Teresa Jusino says
I love this, Jen! Produce going bad is the WORST for me. I need to get better at prepping that stuff for consumption in advance. Also, the post-it notes on foods that will expire is a great idea! 🙂 Thanks for this!
Teresa Jusino recently posted…SUNDAY DIGEST: Week of August 11, 2014
Happy to hear that these tips were helpful for you! Hope the post-it notes are helping you. 🙂
I really need to step up my game when it comes to produce! I know I always do better about eating it if I clean and prep it right away.
I agree! It helps to do that, especially with my daughter & hubby. It’s easier for them to snack on cut up fruits & veggies when it is already prepped!
Great reminders. I am terrible with losing produce. I love the idea of cutting it all up and portioning it out right when I get home from the grocery store!
Lara recently posted…Printable Cleaning Checklists
Thanks Lara, hope these tips help you!
Those are great tips! My eyes are bigger than my stomach when it comes to produce – I love it so much I buy a ton, and then it goes bad before I can eat it all. 🙁 I need to remember to buy smaller amounts and freeze what I’m not going to eat right away!
Anne recently posted…Get Ready for The LA Feline Film Festival
When it comes to really good produce, it can be hard to resist buying a lot. Glad that you found my tips useful!
Erica Manoz says
Great tips! I slack on the menu planning and it’s something I really need to get serious about. The sticky notes is such a great idea, thanks!
Erica Manoz recently posted…How I dyed my hair red
Glad you found my tips helpful!
Melissa Epps says
I am so guilty of this. I even just posted an expired photo on Instagram. I throw away more fruit and veggies that should have been eaten every week. I try to only buy what I think we will use for the week but sometimes we just don’t get to it.
It is certainly great to be mindful of all of this!
Melissa Epps recently posted…Throwback Thursday
I hear ya Melissa. At least you recognize the issue & try your best to not be wasteful. 🙂
GiGi Eats says
I HATE FOOD WASTE! I do NOT waste foods!!! You should see my freezer – it’s FULL TO THE BRIM because I am going out of town this weekend and I don’t want anything to go bad!
GiGi Eats recently posted…The Fit and Funny Foodies Battle It Out Blender Style
Yep, I feel you GiGi! I try to empty out my fridge or I purposely don’t go grocery shopping the week before we go on vacay. Good for you for freezing your produce & being so diligent about it!