Avoiding food waste is one of the best practices that should be incorporated in our everyday lives. i doubt if anyone enjoys seeing their hard earned money thrown in the trash can when it could have been put to better use elsewhere. Food wastage is avoidable and can be curbed in so many ways. Here are a few ideas to get you started
1. Buy exactly what you need
It’s always wise to take note of what you need and what you don’t need at the moment. Before going to shop for groceries, always have a written down list of things you’d be needing at that moment and things you wouldn’t be needing. Take inventory of things you already have by checking your refrigerator, food shelves or cupboards and by writing it down on a sheet of paper. Also, ask yourself how you can work things you already have available into a meal.
2. Reuse Or Re-purpose leftovers
When anything i.e food remains unused or unconsumed especially after the first day, it’s termed a leftover. We all know that after the first day, most people tend to shun leftovers as they might not have the same taste and freshness as when it was first prepared. To avoid this, you could store it in the freezer for reuse later. In this case, plastic storage containers that you could label /date is very necessary. If you want to store and re-use excess soup, you could skip adding the vegetables at the final stage before transferring into a container and storing in the freezer. The Vegetables could be added when you are ready to use it.
You could also re-purpose the meal by making them re-appear in another dish. For example;
Left Over Stew or Sauce: You could either convert it to (1) Curried stew by adding fresh curry leaves (2) Vegetable stew by adding Pumpkin/green leaves (3) Yam porridge / Vegetable Yam by using it as a base (4) Porridge beans by using the stew as a base. The addition of the new ingredients tends to mask whatever taste the dish probably had before thereby giving it a new look and taste.
Unused Vegetables & Fruits: You could preserve vegetables and fruits you’re not ready to use by applying any of the popular preservation techniques such as; pickling/ canning, drying e.t.c
3. Donate Leftovers
You could donate food you will not eat to agencies or charity organisations that would get it across to people struggling to feed themselves. Probably you have excess food from an event, donating it to people in need would really go a long way.
4. Recycle Leftovers
For home use, this would come in handy if you have a garden. Just start a compost pile in your back yard and convert spoilt or unused food into useful resource. If you don’t have a garden, there are lots of farmers who’d happily accept food scraps for feeding goats, pigs e.t.c.