Did you know you can reduce food waste in your home with a few simple changes? Learning to eat not only for nourishment, but enjoyment is an important part of developing sustainable healthy eating habits. Plan your weekly menus, make a corresponding grocery list, re-purpose leftovers, freeze extra food, keep your pantry and fridge organized, and consider composting your food. Review more tips below to minimize food waste!
ORGANIZE YOUR KITCHEN— Did you know about 90 billion pounds of edible food goes uneaten each year?! One tip to help prevent food waste is to keep your fridge and pantry organized! Put your new foods in the back and bring foods closer to their expiration date to the front to use them first.
BUY IN BULK— Check out the bulk section of your grocery store to stock up on nutritious pantry essentials like brown rice, dried beans and lentils, seeds, nuts and even freshly ground nut butter! Bring your own reusable glass jars to reduce food packaging waste, too!
MAKE SALAD GREENS LAST LONGER— Adding a paper towel into bagged or clam shell container salad greens can allow those salad greens to last much longer! Being able to store tender greens for up to 10 days is really convenient and will allow you to buy bigger amounts, saving both time and money since larger bags are usually a better value.
MAKE BERRIES LAST LONGER—One tip to help berries last longer is to wash them in a vinegar-water bath (1 cup white distilled vinegar + 8 cups water) to kill spores on the fruit. Let the berries sit in the vinegar-water bath, gently moving them around, and then drain in a colander and rinse with water. You can dry the thicker-skinned berries (=strawberries & blueberries) using a salad spinner, and delicate berries (=raspberries & blackberries) on a towel. Store berries in a sealed container lined with paper towels to absorb excess moisture.
FRESH HERBS—Store fresh herbs (rosemary, basil, thyme, cilantro, mint...) in a container of water in the fridge (like a bouquet of flowers). You may also consider freezing fresh herbs into ice cube strays with olive oil- a simple addition to soups, sauces, or other recipes where olive oil is welcome.
FOOD STORAGE: FRIDGE OR COUNTER? Properly storing your fruits and vegetables can help them to last longer and taste better! Some produce can be stored at room temperature while others can ripen in the fridge. The goal is to allow the natural enzymes in the produce to remain active, which helps develop the best flavor while also keeping them safe to eat! Below is a list of recommended storage for common produce:
1. Apples: Store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
2. Avocados: Store in a paper bag at room temp until soft, then move to fridge for up to 3 days.
3. Bananas: Store on the countertop for up to 5 days. (Tip: If they become spotty and overly ripened, peel them and store in the freezer for future use in smoothies or baked goods!)
4. Tomatoes: Store on the countertop for up to 3 days.
5. Zucchini: Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Let us help you put your nutrition foundation into practice! Creating healthy habits to honor your body requires ACTION, and we are here to provide you with ideas and inspiration to support your journey.