Every year, a massive amount of food waste occurs, almost 1.3 billion tons. Most of it ends up in landfills which have more harmful consequences for the climate. Read on to know how to change this in the words of Max La Manna. He is also known as the chef that produces zero waste.
To Chef Max, food has been the major component of his life. His father was a chef and thus, he grew up surrounded by food. Moreover, his parents taught him that food waste should always be avoided.
The population of our planet currently stands at almost 9 billion. As such, we face insecurity regarding food at nearly every level. Moreover, over 820 million individuals do not get enough food. Thus, humanity faces a tremendously large problem in food waste – it is estimated that 33% of all produced food ends up lost or as food waste.
Food waste also does not only mean food that is wasted. It also means a waste of transportation, land, energy, water, and money. Throwing out food can further impact climate change. Wasted food is usually sent to landfills. There it rots and generates methane gas. Interestingly, food waste, when compared to other countries, generates the third-highest amount of warming gases following the United States and China.
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Max’s 7-Day Challenge For Zero Food Waste
Day 1: Smart Shopping
Most people try to buy much more than what they need. So, shopping smart is the first step. Make a list of the items you absolutely need and only buy those. You can also try to make a habit of finishing everything you purchased before going out to buy more.
Day 2: Proper Storage Of Food
A huge reason behind food waste is the lack of proper storage. Many individuals are not certain about the ways to store vegetables and fruits. This can result in the food ripening prematurely, and finally in produce that gets rotten.
For example, onions, cucumbers, garlic, tomatoes, and potatoes should not be kept in a refrigerator ever. These items are properly stored at normal room temperature.
Furthermore, stems of herbs and leafy greens can be kept submerged in a bowl of water. For bread, the refrigerator is the way to go if you do not think you can make use of it all in time.
Moreover, you can do even more by buying items that look slightly disfigured or imperfect. The best option would be to buy them straight from a farmer.
Day 3: Don’t Throw Away Leftovers (And Make A Meal Out Of Them)
Leftovers are not only for special occasions like holidays. You might have to cook in large quantities regularly. Thus, you may have a lot of leftovers too, usually. Mark a specific day of the week when you will use everything that is leftover or has piled up in the refrigerator. This habit will drastically reduce your chance of food waste.
Furthermore, it will also save you money and time.
Day 4: Think Of Your Freezer As A Friend
Storing food in the fridge or freezing them is perhaps the easiest method of preserving it. Moreover, almost all kinds of food do well when frozen.
For instance, greens that have become too soft for use in salads can be kept in the freezer. But remember to use containers or bags that are freezer-safe. Thus, you can then use them later on in other recipes like smoothies.
You can combine herbs that are excessive with chopped garlic and olive oil. After that, put them in the trays for ice cubes and freeze them. And voila! You will have a delicious and handy addition to dishes such as sautés.
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Leftovers after meals can also be frozen. Moreover, if your favorite farm stall has produced excess items the freezer is the perfect destination. Furthermore, bulk meals such as chilis and soups take well to the freezer as well.
The freezer is a great method of always ensuring a home-cooked and healthy meal available for you to eat.
Day 5: Make Your Lunch
Hanging out with your co-workers while getting lunch from stores is quite enjoyable. So is dining out at a favorite restaurant. However, both of these activities are costly and are big generators of food waste.
Thus, an economic method of saving money as well as lowering your food waste would be to prepare your own lunch.
If you find yourself not having enough time before going out to work, try freezing leftovers in lunch-sized containers. This way you will have hearty, pre-made meals ready to be taken out every morning.
Day 6: Prepare Stock In Your Home
An easy method to decrease food waste is preparing a stock at your home.
To prepare it, sauté leftover vegetable parts such as the peels, stalks, top, and anything else like that. Use butter or olive oil and then pour in some water. Let it simmer for a while and soon a vegetable broth full of aroma will be ready.
Day 7: Compost When Possible
Composting food that is leftover brings out the benefit of reusing food scraps. Because it converts food waste into plant energy.
However, everyone may not have room for a composting system outside. Thus, there is a wide variety of systems for composting that fit on the countertop. Hence, the systems make the practice accessible and easy for anyone, regardless of the space available.
The final word is that all of us can do our bit to reduce food waste because there are many methods of doing so. Thinking further on what happens to the thrown away food will result in a very significant positive effect.
Even minor changes to your daily activities of consuming, shopping, and cooking will help. There is no need for any difficulty. Put in a tiny bit of effort and you will find food waste cut drastically. Moreover, you will save time and money while also helping out Mother Nature.