Torontonians are wasting a lot more food than we realize. The average Torontonian household throws out 170 kilograms (over 375 pounds) of edible food per year. Approximately 51% of food thrown out by the average household is edible food such as leftovers and untouched food. That’s a lot of good food going to waste! It’s also a huge waste of money. Follow these simple tips to reduce food waste in your home.
PLAN IT OUT
- Spend some time on the weekend planning meals for the following week.
- Check your fridge and freezer before shopping. See what needs to be used up and then think of a meal to make with those items.
- To preserve freshness and nutrition, use perishables like seafood and meat earlier in the week and save staples (pasta, dairy, eggs) for later in the week.
- Buy fresh vegetables in smaller amounts and use frozen vegetables to fill in the gaps.
KEEP IT FRESH
- Keep food fresh longer by storing it in the correct place and setting the temperature in your fridge to 4°C or lower.
- Set one produce drawer to high humidity to store vegetables that wilt, like leafy greens, and another produce drawer
to low humidity for fruits and some vegetables that produce ethylene, like apples and peppers.
• Freeze items to make them last longer. Bread can last up to three months in the freezer, chicken can last up to nine months and most vegetables can be frozen for eight months to a year.
USE IT UP
- Soak wilted vegetables like celery, lettuce, broccoli or carrots in a bowl of ice water for 5-10 minutes to reinvigorate them.
- Fruits and vegetables past their prime are not only great in smoothies, but also taste great in baked, stir-fried and grilled dishes.
- A best before date is not the same as an expiration date. If a package has remained unopened even after the best before date, it can still be of good quality and freshness, as long as it has been stored properly.