How do you reduce food waste?

Posted by Amanda Holloway @amandab, Sep 19, 2017

The US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that more food is thrown away than any other single material in our everyday trash. Sadly, I’m not immune to the issue of wasted food and I wonder if you have suggestions for how you successfully reduce food waste? I recognize that reducing food waste is good for the environment and for the wallet! I probably shouldn’t admit to this but I was digging in my kitchen cupboard last week and came across some expired canned items. I chose to eat them rather than dispose of them (thankfully, I survived and they were still tasty) but I’d love to do a better job of using the food in my cupboard and refrigerator. Anyone have some helpful tips or great recipes that help use up food that would have been thrown away?

I don’t have any great tips, @amandab, but thanks for starting the discussion. I am very curious to see if others have good tips they can share. I am in need of some too!

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When buying groceries, write the expiration date on the item with a Sharpie marker before putting away groceries.

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@knoll

When buying groceries, write the expiration date on the item with a Sharpie marker before putting away groceries.

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Great idea! I do that for my medicines anyhow. I also rotate food frequently to make sure I’m cycling through it.

I also have gotten myself in the habit of not “stocking up” like I used to. Granted, when I had three hungry kids at home, that made more sense. But now that there’s just two of us in the house, I try to avoid buying too much, even if it is on sale, so I don’t end up having food past its expiration.

Also, I don’t think eating something past its expiration is a sin. Certainly if it looks or smells bad, stay away. But frequently the expiration date is a “best by” suggestion, not a “gone bad” warning.

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@knoll

When buying groceries, write the expiration date on the item with a Sharpie marker before putting away groceries.

Jump to this post

I rely on the “sniff test” to determine if I dare eat it. I’m also reminded of my grandparents who would cut the moldy section of cheese off and continue to use the good parts. Same with bread – remove the bad slices but continue to eat the good ones. As a culture, I think we’re losing that desire to not waste anything.

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@knoll

When buying groceries, write the expiration date on the item with a Sharpie marker before putting away groceries.

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I also do that for leftovers before I put them in the freezer so I know when they were originally made.

Liked by Amanda Holloway

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@knoll

When buying groceries, write the expiration date on the item with a Sharpie marker before putting away groceries.

Jump to this post

Your mention of bread @amandab gave me two thoughts.

1. If a loaf of bread starts getting so it doesn’t feel fresh enough to eat, I plan in the next day or two to have french toast or grilled cheese sandwiches, and no one notices. 🙂

2. My mom has always put old bread into an open container (so it completely dries out but doesn’t mold) and uses it when she makes stuffing.

Liked by Amanda Holloway

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@knoll

When buying groceries, write the expiration date on the item with a Sharpie marker before putting away groceries.

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My approach – process stale bread (or crackers) in the food processer. Freeze the bread crumbs for stuffing, casserole toppings, etc.

Liked by Amanda Holloway

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Refrigerator pasta (everything in the fridge that needs to be eaten)…

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Check out this great article on the Well-Being Blog, Tips to Reduce Food Waste: http://intranet.mayo.edu/charlie/well-being/tips-to-reduce-food-waste/ 🙂

Liked by Jyoti Chawla

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I donate mangoes/bananas/fruits to my neighbors/Sulzbacher Homeless Center.

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