There are so many different components to living energy efficient that it becomes easy to just focus on one or two of these as a part of our mission to live more energy efficient and ‘green’. A component of energy efficient living that is easily overlooked is food waste and our team at Engel & Völkers Potchefstroom recently started paying attention to this.
The food that we consume on a daily basis has already gone through several processes and methods to reach our shopping basket. These methods make use of energy resources and water.
This means that if we waste food then it is not only the valuable food resources that are going to waste, but also the energy resources and water that was used to make the food products available for you.
Large (much too large) quantities of food get wasted…daily.
Are you contributing to the food waste crisis?
Perhaps you are not sure if you also contribute to the food waste crisis? Consider the following scenarios:
- Your 6 year old does not finish his plate of food and the scraps end up in the waste bin.
- While chopping carrots for your stew almost a third of the carrot gets thrown away when you chop of the ends. Or large chunks of potato gets peeled and thrown away with the peels.
- Between your busy schedule and work and the kids you forget of the lettuce in the bottom drawer of the fridge or you buy more fresh produce than your family can eat…and end up throwing most if it out.
- You find a tomato with one bad patch and it seems like too much of an effort to try and save some of the fruit – so you throw the entire tomato in the trash can.
Tips and habits to reduce your food waste
With these easy tips and habits you can start reducing your food waste today:
- Dish up smaller portions for picky eaters – they can always ask for seconds.
- Buy only what you need – especially regarding fresh produce.
- First use the fresh products that you have in your home before buying new produce.
- Take note when you are peeling or cutting fruits and veggies – how many edible parts get thrown away?
- Learn to use the entire product – for example wash potato peels thoroughly and make delicious crisp potato chips or roast pumpkin seeds and use in recipes.
- There are very innovative recipes on the internet using carrot tops, spinach stems etc.
- If there is a bad patch on a piece of fruit, only cut away the affected area and use the rest.
- Use over-ripe appels or bananas in recipes rather than throwing it away.
- Research the correct storage methods for the various types of fresh produce – this will extend the life of your produce. For example some of the plastic bags that fresh produce are sold in actually help to keep it fresh for longer.
- Use your freezer to preserve food! Most meat products can be frozen even up until the best before date.
- Start a compost pile for all the peels and scraps that could not be salvaged or used otherwise.
What other steps do you take to prevent food waste?
We’d like to hear from you.