5 Tips to Reduce Food Waste

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A recent study out of London, Ontario reports that households throw out an average of $600 worth of food per year. With the push to eat more fruits and veggies and cook at home more often, food waste is a big problem across Canada—not just in London. If you’re struggling to eat more healthfully on a budget, minimizing your waste can have a big impact when it comes to stretching your food dollars.

Here are 5 tips to help you reduce your food waste: 

Serve smaller portions.

As a population, we’re accustomed to big portions. If you serve a hearty dinner every night only to scrape everyone’s leftovers into the trash, consider serving less and allowing for seconds if needed. Older children can also serve themselves what they want to eat. 

Track your food.

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Going off the last point, keep a log of what you’re throwing out to help you notice patterns. It can also help to keep a note pad or white board with a “use up” list on the fridge with everything that needs to be eaten that week.

Plan your meals before grocery shopping. 

Plan recipes for the week based on your “use up” list. For example, if you have 1/2 cup of chickpeas, 1/2 cucumber and some leftover apple slices in the fridge make a salad. Freezer meals like stews or veggie burgers are also great ways to use up scraps.

Buy frozen or canned fruits and veggies whenever possible.

While fresh, seasonal produce is great, not everything you buy has to be fresh! Frozen berries and canned corn, for example, retain their delicious flavour and peak nutrition while lasting much longer than fresh varieties. 

Store your fruits and veggies properly.

Knowing proper storage techniques can help to maximize the shelf life of your produce. Check out this handy resource from Unlock Food for tips on storing vegetables.

Ryan Stallard