Did you know 40% of food produced in the US ends up in landfills? And while that sounds bad in itself, it gets worse. Producing food that goes to waste uses up 21% of our freshwater, 19% of our fertilizer, 18% of our cropland, and 21% of our landfill volume.
Beyond the loss of valuable resources, food waste contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions. According to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, food is the single largest category of material placed in municipal landfills, where it produces methane, one of the most powerful greenhouse gases.
We’re partnering up with our friends at Full Circle Home to bring you the tips, tricks, and tools you need to reduce food waste in your own home and take care of the planet.
Six Ways to Prevent Food Waste
Meal prepping is key here folks! One of our best tips for meal prepping includes planning your meals before you shop. A lot easier said than done, but once the habit of planning is formed, it becomes like second nature! Planning your meals before making your grocery purchases doesn’t have to be as meticulous as it sounds. Implementing this step however, is a sure fire way to set you up for success when it comes to food planning and budgeting!
Make a list or a ‘menu’ for the week that includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Be sure to give space on the menu if you typically eat a specific meal away from home, or if you have any upcoming plans to eat out that week. List out your favorite recipes and establish easy ways to tweak them so that you won’t become bored. That’s phase one!
As a time saver, I recommend using my grocery delivery service FarmboxRx for your fresh, seasonal produce needs. Farmbox makes it easy to plan your meals in advance by compiling our freshly-harvested produce picks and sharing a weekly email showing the menu of fresh items available for the next week’s delivery. This way you can visualize all that you will receive (you can also make up to 5 substitutions per box,) and start crafting your recipe ideas! By viewing exactly what you will get in your Farmbox beforehand, you’ll have some extra time to research dish ideas that you want to create all without having to leave your home to run to the market.
Store Food Properly
Picking the proper home for your food will ward off spoilage and keep your product perfect and your leftovers fresh. This is where having a collection of food storage containers and packaging becomes essential in the realm of preventing food waste. Fortunately Full Circle Home offers a variety of food storage bags to help make food storage easier on you. Storing food properly is a simple way to save food before tossing it and opens the bridge to our next tip. Eat your leftovers!
Make too much for dinner? Hello, lunch! (I recommend using Full Circle’s Ziptuck for easy food storage and meals on-the-go!) Saving what remains from your delicious dinner and eating it as a meal in the future is an easy way to prevent food waste! Sauces and broths typically gain a richer flavor after having soaked in the ingredients overnight anyways, so you will have the honor of enjoying it again with a deeper dimension of taste. Yum!
Again, proper food storage after initially preparing the meal will be crucial for eating it in the future. But if you plan this into your meal prepping step up above, this will save you time by not having to make something new, and will keep you from throwing a perfectly good meal in the trash. It’s a win-win!
Prep Food Properly
After purchasing your fruits and vegetables, the next step would be to prep them by getting rid of any traces of dirt, wax, or debris. Cleaning your produce can be achieved using a sink full of warm water with a splash of apple cider vinegar or pure castile soap, and using a durable tool like the Full Circle Ring Veggie Brush to really wash away any unwanted remnants. And when your fresh produce comes straight from the farm, like it does with our delivery service, your fruits & veggies could use an extra scrubbing or two!
Prepping ingredients is a wonderful way to make the cooking flow much simpler when it comes time to start putting together a recipe together. An extra added bonus of prepping is that when you have fruits and veggies cut up into snackable sizes, you are more likely to eat more of them throughout the day because they are ready-to-eat! Have left over produce from your FarmboxRx order? Try slicing up the veggies and adding these plant-based foods to your plate, alongside some hummus or guacamole. Just like that you have yourself a healthy, nutrient-dense snack!
Stuck with random ingredients that have some serious potential? Take inventory and find a recipe that incorporates what you already have on hand! You can do this with a quick Google search for recipes that use “x, y, z.” Before you know it, you’ll have a sea of new, fun ideas for spicing up those remaining lentils on the shelf or those greens lying in the fridge. Don’t limit yourself to ways that foods are typically prepared. Feel free to infuse some innovation into your cooking creations!
Compost is decomposed organic material such as leaves, twigs, and kitchen scraps. Instead of tossing these odds and ends (or those leftovers that can’t be saved) in the trash, add them to your compost collector. The microorganisms in compost help plants grow stronger. It also improves soil structure and helps soil retain moisture. And don’t worry, composting is actually a lot easier than you think. Most food scraps like egg shells, banana peels, and tea bags are all compostable, so all you need to do is store them in a compost bin like the Scrap Happy offered by Full Circle and you can get to composting! And when you eat tons of fresh produce delivered weekly straight to your doorstep, you’ll have the best compost-friendly material to use.
Utilize our produce delivery service to stock your fridge with fresh fruits and veggies, and take 20% OFF* your first delivery with code FCH20. Hurry, this offer ends June 30, 2021!
Get all the tools you need to prep, store, and compost your food through Full Circle, and take 20% off your entire order with code HIFARMBOX.
Say buh-bye to food waste in your household!
*Only valid for new members. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Cancel anytime. All Natural Essential Box is not eligible for promotion.