Milk that is 2 days past its best before date? Overripe banana? Wilted carrot? We all have the habit of throwing away our forgotten food… because it’s easy! According to the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization), the third of all the food that is produced for consumption is lost or wasted, which represents 1.3 billion tonnes of food each year. About half this waste is generated on the consumers’ side, in our homes. That’s around 27$ of food each week that goes straight to garbage! Fortunately, with very simple gestures, we can make a big difference. Thus, here are 3 tips to optimize the use of our food.
Grocery shop every day or frequently during the week : this allows you to use your food the day of, to avoid over-consuming and losing food in the refrigerator and to always have fresh food on hand.
Keep an inventory of the content of your refrigerator, cupboards and freezer and update it as you go. Then, make your grocery list accordingly, which will help you limit the purchase of useless food. Also, choose 2 to 3 varieties of fruits and vegetables per week to avoid surplus. Save money as a bonus!
2. Store Your Food Well
Avoid over-packing your refrigerator. It will allow you to see all the food it contains. You can place the bigger items at the back and smaller, at the front. This helps you use all the food without forgetting about any.
Respect the storage areas : Generally speaking, the coldest parts of your refrigerator are the ones located on the back wall and temperature lowers towards the bottom of the refrigerator. The warmest part is the door. Therefore, to ensure better conservation, the most perishable items should not be located there (dairy, leftovers, fresh cheese…).
Best before, still good after? Many foods can be consumed past their best before date if unopened such as eggs, yogurt, kefir, vinaigrettes, marinades and many others. CAUTION! As soon as you open a product, the best before date does not apply anymore. A tip is to write the opening date and to respect the life of each food according to the Thermoguide. Or try this link in English.
Rotten of simply wilted? Molds are diverse and some of them secrete toxins that are harmful for your health. Wilted food like old and saggy vegetables or damaged and overripe fruit are still edible. Use them in a stir fry, a sauce or even in a smoothie for breakfast (fruits, carrots, cauliflower, spinach, cucumber, etc.).
Make homemade broths with your leftovers : vegetable scraps and animal bones like poultry, meat and fish bones contain lots of flavor, why not enjoy them! Freeze all leftover food in a container in the freezer after each meal. When you’ve collected enough, boil everything in water in a pot for 30 minutes, strain, and then freeze the broth until you use it in a soup, a sauce, a stir fry or another recipe. The scraps can then be composted. One food, multiple uses!
What to make with strawberry leaves, orange peels or cucumber apart from composting them? Add flavour to your water! Infuse your water with your fruit scraps and store it in the refrigerator. A beautiful way to add freshness to our water in the summer!