Lett-uce Pledge to Reduce Food Waste

Lett-uce Pledge to Reduce Food Waste

Lett-uce Pledge to Reduce Food Waste

Food waste comprises approximately 30-40 percent of the food supply in the US, according to a USDA estimated study. The USDA and EPA are working together to solve this problem and we would like to help by providing you with these tips for reducing food waste in your home.  Buy Local Start out by buying… Read More »

Food waste comprises approximately 30-40 percent of the food supply in the US, according to a USDA estimated study. The USDA and EPA are working together to solve this problem and we would like to help by providing you with these tips for reducing food waste in your home. 

Buy Local

Start out by buying local and in season. Eating foods that are grown locally are fresher and retain all the nutrients. Eating in season foods are full of flavor and taste better as they are picked and consumed nearby the source. Eating locally grown also supports your local economy and allows you to make a connection with the people who grow your food. All of this also benefits the environment too as money spent at a local farm helps maintain farmland and open space in your community. 

Eat the Entire Vegetable 

Many of our food waste can be contributed to parts of the vegetable that may be overlooked and discarded. Don’t throw out those scraps! Carrot tops, potato peels, corn cobs and skins can be frozen and when ready you can turn them into a delicious and nutritious veggie stock instead.  Soft tomatoes can be made into a quick sauce or fresh salsa. Cucumber peels as well as citrus rinds are great to add to pitchers of water to add a flavorful zest to your water. Discard after using by composting in your backyard or putting out for wildlife. Learn how to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet here.  Learn more about using produces tops and bottoms here.

Store Like a Pro

Learning ways to properly store fruits and vegetables will help extend their shelf life. Leafy greens should be washed, wrapped in a paper towel then stored in a paper bag in your fridge. Root vegetables should be stored in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. Most fresh fruit will last longer stored in their original packaging then placed in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. Poking tiny air holes in plastic zip top bags will help release moisture allowing your items to stay fresh longer. Check on them periodically and if you see they are starting to turn, pop them in your freezer to use in compotes, smoothies or baked goods. 

Learn New Techniques for Preserving

Spending a little extra time preserving food goes a long way to saving money and protecting the environment. Washing and freezing perishable items like berries allows you to have them available for longer periods of time. Other methods of preserving include dehydrating in your oven (like this recipe for apple chips), canning (like this recipe for tomato sauce), freezing and fermenting (like this recipe for simple pickled cucumbers). 

Especially perishable items – freeze and have ready available . Herbs fall into this category, learn how to preserve herbs here

Start Meal Planning & Meal Prepping

Taking an inventory of your pantry, freezer and refrigerator before shopping are a great way to reduce food waste. Make a list of items needed and keep true to your list buying only what you need. Making meals that you like and preparing smaller portions is a great way to ensure that food will be consumed and not sit leftover in your fridge. Transforming foods is a great way to save money and reduce food waste. Transform stale bread into homemade croutons or breadcrumbs with ease. Passed their prime raw or wilted veggies can be made into a hearty broth or soup stock.

Get creative with transforming leftovers in your fridge by reinventing dishes. Cooked veggies can be used in frittatas, soups, stews and smoothies. Keep note of what worked best for you so you can be sure to reduce your food waste and enjoy new meals with less hassle. Revive basic leftovers by adding another component to make something new, for example: turn leftover mashed potatoes into shepherd’s pie, use leftover veggies for a quiche or freeze them all and use in soups and stews at another time.

Food prep once a week to prepare and cook all items once you get them home from the market will ensure that you have easy access to items on hand.  Chopped and cooked veggies placed in sealable containers labeled in your fridge will be more apt to be used as they are convenient.  Cooked veggies can be used to create quick and satisfying meals while you are assured of getting your daily dose of nutrition. Load the cooked veggies on top of spaghetti or rice for a quick meal or add to a salad for a light dish or include in your next omelet. Extend their life once more by check on these cooked veggies after a few days and if you haven’t used them yet, pop what you have left into the freezer to have them available for when you need them for stews, chilis and more. 

Compost Remains

Rather than throwing away your kitchen scraps, compost them instead! Composting is easy, takes little time and can be done with simple materials in your home. There are three types of compost categories; browns, greens, and water and an ideal compost pile should have an equal amount of browns to greens. The brown materials provide carbon for your compost and include materials such as; dead leaves, branches, and twigs, the green materials provide nitrogen and include grass clippings, vegetable waste, fruit scraps, and coffee grounds, and the water provides moisture to help break down the organic matter and develop the compost. Read our blog for details on how to get composting today.

Donate excess food

Make a connection with your local food pantry so that you may have access to them if needed. Donate your excess food before it expires or goes to waste to your local food pantry. You will be keeping food out of the landfills while helping those in need. Each food bank has specific guidelines to follow, please see your local food bank for more details. Check out this link to find a food bank near you. 

Learning and applying these few tips into your weekly routine can help you save money on your food bill, reduce your carbon footprint while conserving valuable resources and keeping food in the supply chain. Thank you for doing your part! Have any other tips and suggestions? We would love to hear from you, email us info@alstedefarms.com

Want to learn more, visit the food recovery hierarchy provided by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.