5 Common Mistakes That Cause Food Waste
Food waste is a significant concern, with approximately one-third of all food we produce globally lost or wasted. With 800 million people suffering from hunger and undernourishment, addressing the issue can be paramount. While you might not think your household is contributing to the problem, there’s a chance you could be making some of these common mistakes.
Some food waste in Canada, the United States, and other parts of the world can be attributed to not having a meal plan when you visit your local grocery store. You might purchase food that appeals to you, but there’s no guarantee that it will form part of a meal for your family if you lack other ingredients and staples to go with it.
Without knowing what to make with it, it might sit in your fridge or pantry until it expires and is eventually thrown away. Cut down on this waste by creating meal plans for the week each time you perform your weekly shop. You might even notice cost savings by taking this simple action.
Shopping on an empty stomach can sometimes be damaging to your wallet, but it might also contribute to our growing food wastage problem. When you’ve worked up an appetite, you might put food into your shopping cart that you might not have otherwise purchased. When you’re able to satiate your hunger with a snack or meal prepared from your grocery haul, anything else you purchased out of hunger might not be eaten before it expires.
When you notice that your apples are bruised, your bananas are brown, or your vegetables are wilted, you might assume it’s time to throw them away. However, in many cases, fruit and vegetables are still safe for human consumption, even when flawed.
Bruised apples can be turned into apple pies and chutney, grated, or even added to salads. Brown bananas taste delicious in cakes and muffins, and wilted vegetables can sometimes be freshened with ice water.
Many people throw food waste into their rubbish bins without a second thought. However, if you were to take a moment to think about alternative uses for food before you throw it away, you might be able to save it from ending up in landfills. For example, stale bread can be turned into croutons, bread pudding, and breadcrumbs, while leftover rice would make a tasty burrito filling, fried rice, or rice cakes.
Over time, you learn how much you and your family will eat. However, some people fail to adapt their cooking practices to suit their appetites, meaning there can be an abundance of leftovers. Leftovers are ideal for lunches the next day, but there might also be food waste when they aren’t consumed in a timely fashion. If you notice that you always have too much food left over after everyone has eaten, consider adjusting just how much you prepare. Your food bill might even decrease by doing so.
It’s easy to assume that everyone else is to blame for food wastage, such as restaurants. However, the average household might also be wasting more food than they think. If you can relate to these wastage scenarios above, you might be surprised at how impactful small changes could be.