11 Tips for Lowering Food Waste
Americans 40% of the food grown in the U.S. goes to waste, or 90 billion pounds, and $1,500 worth of food. This not only wastes food but the resources of nutrients going into the soil, water used, and then the waste that ends up in landfills in the process. That’s $15 Billion of wasted resources. Using the methods below to cut even 15% of our waste would be enough to feed more than 25 Million Americans.
1. Compost — You can either get a compost bucket or freeze your compost to later be taken by municipality or take to your outside compost outside or the farmer’s market for farmers to reuse it.
2. Organise your grocery shopping & fridge — Before you grocery shop, take inventory of what you already have, your week(s) ahead and how often you’ll cook at home, and recipes you’d like to try. And then avoid going to the store when hungry or buying unnecessary ingredients with unrealistic expectations of what you’re going to eat.
3. DIY Broth — Save veggie scraps, like ends of carrots or celery stalks, to freeze them to use in vegetable stock later.
4. On that note, you can also “plant” certain ends of vegetables to regrow them! This includes celery ends, pineapple top, spring onion bottoms, and more. Just Google for more ideas!
5. You can freeze herbs, leafy greens, or fruits by blending them with a little bit of water then pouring into ice cube moulds to use later in soups, smoothies, or stews!
6. Save deep-coloured foods like beets, cabbage, and spinach to use for natural dyeing. Adding baking soda and vinegar also changes the resulting colour.
7. Banana peels have so many uses before composting! They’re great for reviving plant leaves as a cleaner; rubbed on teeth as a whitener with its magnesium and potassium; shoe polish when rubbed then wiped off with a cloth; and itch-soother for mosquito bites this Summer.
8. Used coffee grounds make a great scrub and there are a plethora of recipes online.
9. Clean out your fridge every week on the same day. If you find produce that you won’t use, freeze them like mentioned above. If there are leftovers, package and date them before freezing, making it an at-home version of frozen, pre-packaged meal.
10. Buy ugly fruit and vegetables! At farmer’s markets, they’re often cheaper, too. At the store, you avoid “imperfect” produce getting tossed by picking those first.
11. Dog Supplement — if you have a dog, you can use leftover egg shells as a calcium supplement (¼ teaspoon-teaspoon per meal depending on their size) by grinding them up in a clean coffee grinder. This is also a great remedy for when they have diarrhea.
About the Author
Almila Kakinc-Dodd is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief of The Thirlby. She is also the author of the book The Thirlby: A Field Guide to a Vibrant Mind, Body, & Soul. She is currently pursuing her Master’s in Nursing as a Dean’s Scholar at Johns Hopkins University. Her background is in Anthropology & Literature, which she has further enriched through her Integrative Health Practitioner training at Duke University. She lives in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area, where she regularly contributes to various publications. She is a member of Democratic Socialists of America and urges others to join the movement.