Food is one of life’s finest pleasures - an integral part of all gatherings, events, occasions, and celebrations.
If you’re a food junkie, like me, you know that the majority of your pay check is spent on visiting new restaurants that have mastered the art of transforming food into creative masterpieces that expose flurries of flavour and expression.
One bite can change your mood drastically; if you’re feeling grumpy or upset, food is a remedy that can make your heart whole again (only until it fully digests and your stomach begin calling for more).
Okay, I think you get the point. Food is a joy - one that millions of people do not have the privilege to enjoy. And it’s even more unfortunate that there is enough food in the world to feed millions of hungry people around the world, if only we didn’t throw it out or waste it.
Consider this: if just one-fourth of the food currently lost or wasted globally could be saved, it would be enough to feed over 800 million hungry people in the world!
Moreover, there are 1.3 billion tonnes of food that is wasted globally, altogether valued at $1 trillion dollars. Crazy! Think about all the people who could have been fed and saved from the death of starvation.
Evidently enough, the problem isn’t that the world suffers from a lack of food production and supply. Rather, it is a problem caused from civilians, restaurant owners, bakers, producers, and distribution companies who end up throwing away all their leftover food (packaged or not) instead of putting in the hands of people whose lives depend on it.
These facts are alarming, so here are 5 ways you can actively reduce the amount of food you waste:
1. Plan your meals in advance.
Efficiency is key! By planning your meals in advance, you know exactly what food to buy and what ingredients to store. You end up getting the things you actually need, and not the things you think you will enjoy. When you come into the grocery store with a checklist of products to buy, you already know the quantities that you need for your meals. Also, if you plan your meals day by day, you can make use of the ingredients that expire first, and leave the rest to be used later throughout the week.
2. Ice, Ice, Baby!
Not sure if you’re in the mood for chicken tonight? Want to eat your bagels over the next couple days? The freezer is your best friend for this. Freeze your food and save it for another week to make it last longer, and still taste good.
3. Don’t be too picky with fruits.
Did you know that “ugly” fruits and veggies make up a third of all wasted food? Don’t discriminate based on looks, and take some chances! Odds are that the food tastes just as fine as “better” looking fruits, because sometimes the prettiest faces have the most rotten core.
4. Stick to smaller portions.
This isn’t to say that you should be starving yourself. Rather, whether you are at home cooking or at a buffet, take smaller portions of food onto your plate because you can always come back for more! You’ll be surprised by how quickly you fill up, instead of leaving leftover scraps that are inevitably thrown away.
Also, it may help to take a smaller plate and fill it up all the way. Proportionally, it will look like you took a lot more food than you would normally eat, and this has psychological effects on making you feel full without having to take more than you can physically consume.
From an environmental perspective, composting is a great way to avoid having your food end up in landfills. Food that is composted does not become wasted because it makes good use as fertilizers for plants! By throwing out onion skins and the core of your apples into the compost, you are leading an eco-friendly lifestyle that is more sustainable for the environment.
It’s that simple to start making a change today. Follow these 5 simple tricks to stop wasting food, and start saving lives!