View the story "5 Ways To Lessen Your Food Waste" on Storify] 5 Ways To Lessen Your Food Waste According to a new report, Americans waste a lot of food. According to foodies on Twitter, reducing food waste can actually be pretty simple.
Storified by Earth Eats · Wed, Aug 29 2012 08:22:41
Trash MountainAlex E. Proimos
Last week, the Natural Resources Defense Council released a report saying Americans throw away about $165 billion of uneaten groceries each year. That averages out to about 20 pounds of food per person each month -- a figure that has jumped 50 percent since the 1970s.
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The study has created quite a buzz across the country. Organizations from the tech world to college campuses are brainstorming ways to reduce food waste.
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But plenty can be done in our own kitchens to reduce the amount of food we personally send to landfills. Earth Eats' Twitter followers chimed in with their suggestions.
I thhinkk my family needs more food... #leftoversAlex Cheng
@eartheats In my home - Leftovers often get recycled into omelets or breakfast burritos - Scrambled Pizza Eggs is a crowd pleaser as well.FoodServiceWarehouse
@eartheats compost recycle and relish the leftovers. Many dishes are better the second nightECSGA
Learning to love your leftovers is just about the easiest way to reduce wasted food.
But let's say you made pot roast yesterday, you had a roast sandwich for lunch, and the thought of eating it again for dinner just isn’t all that appealing. Get creative! Take some of the sauce from that roast, reduce it for 15-20 minutes, add extra veggies like corn and green beans to the carrots and potatoes, maybe throw in some noodles, and now you’ve got vegetable soup with a beef broth base! Freeze, Can, Preserve!
@eartheats freezing, fermenting, canning and drying. All easy ways to use up food before it spoils and all are usefull in emergency prep.ComoxValley100
@eartheats we freeze leftover veggies for soups, can, give scraps to pets and chickens. Rarely do we throw anything in garbage.Robray Deangelo
People have been freezing, canning and preserving foods for centuries. It’s not just a great way to enjoy the tastiness from your garden during the upcoming winter months, it’s also a perfect way to find uses for the dozen zucchinis you received in this week’s CSA share.
‘Tis the season for apples! Take the fruits that aren’t the prettiest to look at and process them into apple butter. Too many cucumbers and not enough jars left in which to make more pickles? Make a Green Gazpacho using cucumbers. The juicy, pink flesh of the watermelon isn't the only delicious part. Pickle the rinds in a sweet brine for a summery treat. Re-Think Grocery Shopping
@eartheats do more regular, smaller shopping trips and buy the ingredients we need for recipes for 2-3 days at a time.Food to Culture
@eartheats we stopped food shopping once a week. We now go every other day so we only buy what we need for a mealBarbara Stauff
Several Earth Eats followers recommended shopping for less food more often. Instead of stocking up weekly on fruits and vegetables that might spoil, buy only what you think you can use in the next day or two.
Here’s another idea: Clean out your fridge before your next grocery trip to make sure you're not buying extras. Editor Ben Alford shared a tip he picked up while living in Brooklyn: “If you live relatively close to your store, walk to get groceries instead of driving. Use a hand-held basket instead of a cart. Unless you're really strong and can carry 60 pounds of food, this will keep you from excessive stockpiling.” Good call, Ben! Compost To Feed Your Garden
Young boy with compostBrisbane City Council
@eartheats Compost baby! Feed the earth!Lisa Deane
@eartheats, composting! We then use it to fertilize our organic garden.Nicole Chang
Put your kitchen scraps to work in your garden by building a compost pile. As the scraps naturally break down in the pile, they create a nutrient-rich soil amendment that is better than any chemical fertilizer.
Of course, compost isn’t just for fruits and veggies. You can add your cardboard food containers, coffee grounds (filter and all) and napkins from that fast food indiscretion. You can also add crunched up egg shells to your compost heap -- your garden needs calcium, too! Just remember: you don’t want to compost meat, because it can attract both flies and scavengers to your backyard. Animals Will Work For Food
String up a cabbage and they go to town! #chookwatchHelen G
@eartheats chicken will eat any food so don't through away food grow some chicken in your houseyosse f
@eartheats We have a small worm bin to compost table scraps & waste paper like newspaper & shredded bills. Live fishing bait is added bonus!Stan W
Chickens are great natural garbage disposals. They aren’t picky about pecking away at corn on the cob, carrot tops, leftover leaves from broccoli and cauliflower, rice and even recently expired dairy products.
Be careful, though! There are some things you’ll definitely want to keep away from your little garbage disposals. Any kind of nightshade leaf -- potato sprouts, tomato leaves, eggplants, peppers, and even raw potatoes -- will be pretty unhealthy for your chickens. Raw meat or anything smelly or moldy is pretty much a raw deal for your chickens as well. If chickens aren't your thing, get yourself a vermicomposting bin full of red wiggler worms. These guys love to devour your kitchen scraps and their castings make a great soil amendment. No backyard necessary -- keep the vermicomposting bin in your kitchen.