Member Comments for the Article:

5 Ways to Prevent Food from Going to Waste

Don't Kick Food Waste to the Curb--Prevent It


  • I'm very consious of food wast these days, and agree that meal planning (although it can be another job to do) is well worth doing... It's often just my husband and me for dinner these days so I often still cook for four and then freeze any leftovers (individual portions in foil containers and write on the lids - and they can still be washed and re-used several times). It's fantastic to just get out a prepared curry/chlli/caserole at the end of a working day - no effort and you know what you are eating is not going to wreck your diet! xx - 1/15/2012 3:22:31 AM
  • I have been composting for decades - it really reduces waste that goes to landfills and enhances the gardens! When I was single, what allowed me to save money and have a variety of fresh fruits and veg was to buy with other singles. We split up large batches of fresh food, sometimes cooked together (spag sauce comes to mind) and split it between us. It was great fun and a learing experience too! - 12/13/2011 3:14:33 AM
  • I like to use carrots, celery and onions that are beyond their time to make chicken stock in the crock pot. I use the carcass from the precooked grocery store rotisserie chickens ($5 - skin removed for less fat) and the dry/wilted veggies, and can usually get 9-10 cups of rich dark stock from it. I freeze it in 1/2 cup plastic containers, then transfer them to a freezer bag. I can take out as much as I need and it doesn't go to waste. It really stretches out the chicken and veggies that would otherwise head to the trash. - 8/7/2011 9:48:07 PM
  • What was NOT mentioned in this article but is critical is making sure your regridgerator/ freezer is working OK . I had a freezer fail on me a few years ago (NOT GOOD). Even if its borderline operating it (the fridge) can cause foods to spoils prematurely. A good maintenance practice is to gently vacuum the cooling fins on your refridgerator periodically. - 6/26/2011 10:19:58 PM
  • Lots of good suggestions!

    Several years ago, my husband and I created a "Food Plan" spreadsheet, which is divided by month then by week, with a section for a shopping list below each week's entry. We plan out what we are going to eat each week (including days that we plan on eating out with friends), utilizing some great cookbooks (and we include the page numbers in the entry).

    It allows us to try out new recipes all the time, or fall back on easy staples for weeks that we know are going to be crazy busy, and we buy our groceries in weekly batches, which saves money and time (and gas). It also cut WAY down on the amount of food we were tossing each week (which always leaves me with such guilt), and made it so much easier because we don't have the "what should we have for dinner?" question at the end of every day.

    I really admire the idea of zero waste. I think back to my grandparents' generation, where everything was used and re-used because it had to be, and I aspire to be that conscientious in my home.

    I think I'm going to try a worm farm next! We live in an apartment in the city, so I'll likely just donate the end product to a community garden, but I love the idea of food scraps getting eaten by fat little worms! - 6/1/2011 11:41:46 AM
  • We love fresh blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. The problem is that they quickly get mushy and/or moldy. My solution has been to freeze them as soon as I find one mushy berry. Then I eat them while they're still frozen. I love not wasting a very expensive food, and popping them into my mouth while they're still frozen is like eating M&Ms. - 3/28/2011 5:16:11 PM
  • I have even frozen bags of baby spinach leaves and turnip greens. I can pull out as many frozen leaves as I need to put in my fruit smoothie. I froze fat free yogurt. That doesn't thaw well at all but I put it in my smoothie. Before bananas go bad I slice, put on tray, put in freezer, then bag up to use as needed in smoothie. Sometimes I'll freeze milk if we aren't drinking it and it is close to the expiration date. Then I thaw it out in the fridge. - 1/30/2011 4:14:05 PM
  • Great article. I have often thought of freezing dinner leftovers but generally put in the fridge in a seal tite container for eating the next day. I have become more portion concious since I really want to lose the weight.

    1. A relative makes vegetable lasagna. Any pan leftover is frozen as individual portions that can be oven heated for a single meal anytime.
    2. Meats and fish that come home from the market are cut and wrapped in 'freezer tite' (Dollar store) in 3-4 oz portions.
    3. When I boil meat w/ vegetables for lunch, I make low calorie soup for dinner from the broth. Usually I cool the broth, do a quick fridge 2+ hours to skim off the trans fat that solidify.
    4. Vegetable broth and fish broth are my water glass replacements with the meal. Broccoli juice (as I call it) is very refreshing. - 1/30/2011 10:30:13 AM
  • I have some chickens that I let compost my extra scraps. They give me great eggs in exchange. - 1/20/2011 2:32:21 AM
  • Freezing vegetables for making broth later is a GREAT idea! Living with someone who can't seem to stop over-buying fruits and vegetables is frustrating. I freeze fruit for smoothies at this point, but was just tossing the veggies. Thanks for the idea! - 8/15/2010 1:14:03 PM
  • Meal planning is awesome. Makes life much easier (when I remember to do it). Also, I freeze everything! Then if you do have a night where you haven't planned something, there's usually something ready to heat up and go already there. - 8/10/2010 3:01:00 PM
  • I like meal planning. My boyfriend doesn't care what we have for dinner. I usually give him too many options. So just planning ahead works really well for us. Then I know exactly what to buy at the store. It helps us waste less food and saves lots of money! I also give all my waste food to our chickens. They love it! :) And I don't feel as though it is quite so wasted. Then we save a little money on chicken feed too. - 8/8/2010 2:43:17 PM
  • You had me up until the falsehood about carbon dioxide being toxic, but all of the other tips made a lot of sense. - 7/28/2010 1:55:12 PM
  • Wonderful article! The tip here that has made the most difference for me is the meal planning. I spend less to start with at the store when I plan meals, and my day is less stressful because I can tell what to defrost or prep the evening or morning before too. We sometimes adjust the plan, because one of us will be too tired to eat in, or friends are in town, or whatever, but it is easy, when you have a plan, to adjust that plan. I DO find that having a freezer and using it and cycling through the food in it, are a big help. You can't just toss everything INTO the freezer, when you're planning meals you have to keep the freezer content in mind and plan those frozen things back in, too. I've been trying the idea of dividing by portions as soon as I bring stuff home (or after a little rest, shopping can be a workout sometimes!). It works well, except for chicken. I find chicken so much easier to slice when it's somewhat frozen, that I sometimes forget to take it out and portion it later. - 5/30/2010 9:30:34 AM
    I try to plan our meals, but sometimes, my husband just wants to eat what he wants to eat, and the plan goes through the window, leading to some things being wasted. I can't really help that.

    But I have learnt something new. I will try my hand at composting, even if it is just for my potted plants and tiny garden! - 5/14/2010 5:24:45 AM

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