Make an Impact: Reducing Food Waste
Written by Tony Gagliardi, a Mayo School of Health Sciences dietetic intern
Food waste is a major issue in our society today, with an estimated one-third of all food produced in the world going to waste. Not only is this a waste of resources, but it also contributes to environmental problems such as greenhouse gas emissions and the depletion of natural resources. Fortunately, there are many ways that we can all help reduce food waste and make a positive impact on the environment.
- Plan your meals and shopping carefully: Before you go grocery shopping, make a list of what you need and plan your meals for the week. Buying only what you need can reduce the amount of food that goes to waste.
- Store food properly: Make sure you store food properly to ensure it lasts as long as possible. For example, keep fruits and vegetables in the fridge, store bread in a cool, dry place, and freeze any food that you won't be able to eat in the near future.
- Use your freezer: If you have leftover food that you won't be able to eat within a few days, freeze it. This will extend the life of the food and allow you to enjoy it later.
- Get creative with leftovers: Instead of throwing out leftovers, get creative and turn them into a new dish. For example, leftover vegetables can be turned into a soup, stir-fry, and leftover meat can be used to make a sandwich or a casserole.
- Donate excess food: If you have excess food that you won't be able to use, consider donating it to a local food bank or charity.
- Use smaller plates: Using smaller plates can help reduce the amount of food you serve and eat, which in turn reduces the amount of food waste.
Reducing food waste is an important step we can all take towards a more sustainable future. By planning our meals carefully, storing food properly, and getting creative with leftovers, we can all make a difference and help reduce the amount of food that goes to waste.
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I love the smaller plates idea. We have cut down our waste quite a bit, and I even lost 115 pounds by cutting portions – no other diet.
I absolutely agree. Smaller plates is a great concept even for children when a big plate a food (some which may be new to them) can be super overwhelming.
Also, congratulations on your incredible weight loss! How wonderful to have such success without completely altering your food choices. That tends to be a significant predictor of success long-term. Way to go!!
What an interesting and useful article. It sounds like you were writing about my own life! I do all of the suggestions you mentioned. Right now, I have chicken, green beans, broccoli and corn frozen in one area ready to be turned into a chicken casserole for a future dinner. It also helps to have two freezers for those times when you find a good sale.
Thanks for the interesting article!
What a kind comment, @pml! I have passed it along to Tony. I love having a healthy "back-up meal" in the freezer for evenings or work days that don't go as planned. Then there are no excuses no to cook a well-balanced meal at home. Nice job!
Thank you for getting back to me! Being in the "food business" have you noticed the change in onions? I have noticed that any kind of onion I use in my cooking, the onion loses it's onion flavor when it's cooked! This didn't use to happen at all. I remember the time when I would worry that I put too much onion in my meat loaf. Now, the onion flavor doesn't show up at all! If an onion is used raw such as in a salad, it still has an onion flavor but it's not as strong as they used to be. What is happening to our food?
Thanks so much!
Hi @pml , while I don't know the exact answer to your question, I am familiar with these few insights:
– Onions that are frozen actually have a strong flavor
– Slicing through the middle (against the grain) will release more flavor
– Where your onion was grown can impact the flavor, based on water content and soil type
Cheers to a flavorful meal!