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5 Ways to Prevent Food from Going to Waste

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

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  • This was a fantastic article, and I'm loving the suggestions in the comments. I had no idea I should freeze spinach for my smoothies. Problem solved!!! And I wanted to add that you CAN most certainly feed your dog scraps depending on what it is. But if you do, first check to make sure it's not toxic (http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-cont
    rol/people-foods.aspx). Secondly, it should be free of salt or most seasonings. Also, because some foods (pasta for example) are higher in calorie than others (like carrots), you'll want to adjust the amount of regular dog food you're feeding. And I never give scraps while at the table or just because I have some available .... always mixed into the regular dog food. But, naturally, avoid any of this if your dog has a sensitive stomach. But generally speaking, variety in foods - especially at a young age, is just as good for dogs as it is for humans. It also helps avoid allergies. But always talk with your vet if you have doubts.
  • We don't waste much food around here, except for produce that turned quicker than I thought it would. Thanks for the tip on freezing for smoothies.
  • CHRISTINASP
    Nice ideas Except for the one to feed your dog leftovers. NOT good for the dog!
  • Thank you for this. I am seeing myself throw out a little too much food.
  • I often wonder why it is I really hate when food is wasted . . .
  • 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
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • I have some chickens that I let compost my extra scraps. They give me great eggs in exchange.
  • 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!

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