How to reduce food waste
Is there a solution to avoid food waste at home? I think there is a lot that we can all do and I think it helps to be on top of my planning, writing me notes, keeping a journal and using my smartphone as a reminder. The lists of dishes are endless!
We have three types of diets in our household; vegetarian, pescatarian and meat eater, which means catering while avoiding waste is quite a challenge. Now don’t get me wrong, I certainly don’t cook three types of meals – that was always the case when raising my kids, I had to learn to adapt recipes to make them work in more than one scenario.
Since I lost my job before the pandemic, I have had to become very aware of how I spend my pennies and make sure that not only can I get the best value for my spending, but also that every ounce of food is appreciated and I am not sacrificing the quality of my cooking.
I tend to shop at the same supermarkets every seven to 10 days, but I’ve recently found some good comparison sites that have been found to be useful for the more expensive items, or that support local small businesses that are sometimes much cheaper than large retailers.
My pre-purchase journey will begin with a shopping list, checking out what I have in stock and can use while adding other ingredients. In order to create a weekly menu, I spend time researching the internet and magazines for any inspiration, you would be surprised at how many things you can find that you haven’t thought of on your own. In addition, keep an eye on what you regularly throw away and make a conscious effort to buy less rather than falling for “BOGOFF” or “three for two” type offers, when in the long run, those excess purchases. just become part of your weekly waste almost by default.
In my early marriage years I worked in a small store and we knew not everything would fly off the shelves at once, so we were careful about how we arranged the items to make sure the oldest stock was bought first and it stuck with me. as the primary “first in, first out”.
Instead of just throwing my purchases in the front of the closet shelf, I try to organize the ones with the closest expiration date in the front and putting newer items behind that helps. definitely reduce waste. However, being human, organizational skills degrade from time to time and I find myself having to do the weird closet “blitz”!
How to avoid potential food waste in practical terms? The main thing is to use your judgment with the manufacturer’s labels, because with a lot of fresh produce, it’s mostly a matter of using common sense when deciding whether to throw away. Best before and best dates are generally more reasonable than a guide to the shelf life of the product, and keep in mind that if things are approaching their best-before date, you can freeze a lot of things. and add at least some. one month to their useful life. I freeze all of my spices, in an ice cube tray, including herbs in butter or broth and things like berries in water for smoothies. Buying frozen vegetables is another smart way to shop, they stay fresh and you can use them up little by little.
I have children who live far away so any other prepared food that can be used by taking it on visits i.e. if I haven’t packed it for lunch or I don’t have it. Haven’t labeled as “fridge fresh” and ready to eat in a couple of days.
Before the lockdown, Sunday was always a meal prep day for the week ahead, but being at home all the time during the lockdown, I find that I’ve lost that focus on having a specific day when things needed to be done. It is a good habit that I must try to resume because preparing weekly meals is a great way to budget, plan and avoid waste. I often make delicious soups and broths from leftovers, it’s really just a matter of sautéing, simmering, mixing and seasoning then labeling and freezing.
Reducing food waste is good for the planet and your finances, so my best advice would be to think carefully about what you are buying and have a plan for it. And one final thought is that a lot of small retailers sell what the big supermarkets call “wacky food”, but that comes without the “perfect product” price of the big supermarkets, and that’s another story – it tastes like everything. the same, is not it?
It is a meal that I prepared this week. All the ingredients I took out of the freezer. The frozen vegetables that I always keep for the rainy days, in addition to taking only what I need! Lately I’ve found some wonderful frozen fish, in this case tilapia. The fish is individually wrapped in a large package. The beauty of this is that with a few extra minutes of cooking time, it can be steamed, broiled, baked or poached right in the freezer.
Tilapia is sweet, fresh and not very fishy at all, also a great source of low fat protein. Hence accompanied by slightly spicy vegetables. All in all, a great saving on lean meals!
Prepare and cook 30 minutes For two people.
Frozen tilapia (two fillets)
Frozen broccoli florets
1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of rapeseed oil
2 teaspoons of grated ginger
1 teaspoon green chilli, minced
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
Salt to taste
Cracked black pepper
In a small saucepan, heat the teaspoon of oil and add the frozen broccoli, peas, spices and season.
Mix well, close the lid and cook the broccoli and peas until the thawed juice is reduced and hot.
In a heated shallow pan, add lemon juice, rinse the fish with cold water, place it in the pan, season, close the lid. The fish steams in 5-7 minutes over medium heat. (Turnaround after 3 minutes)
Serve with mashed sweet potatoes.