10 Easy Steps to Fight Food Waste | Rocky Mountain Health Plans Blog



How to Reduce Food Waste in Your Home

Did you know that more than 40 percent of food in the United States goes to waste? It might sound crazy, but fortunately there are plenty of ways you can fight food waste in your own home. 

1. Plan, prep, and repeat

Planning ahead and cooking in batches (aka meal prepping) is an ideal way to cut back on food waste. It also makes your life easier, because you know exactly what you have to buy and cook. You can even use apps to streamline the meal planning process.

2. Consult your kitchen before grocery shopping

Take stock of what you already have before heading to the grocery store. It’s easy to forget about that box of pasta in the pantry or that frozen chicken in the freezer. Once you know what you have on hand, find recipes that include those ingredients, then pick up anything else you’ll need. 

3. Learn to love leftovers

Oftentimes, people end up with food waste because they cook more than they can eat. 

To get the most out of your leftovers, it’s important to store them properly. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container and eat them within two to three days. 

4. Repurpose leftovers 

You can also ‘repurpose’ your leftovers into entirely new dishes. This list has 20 tasty ways to re-use your leftovers. From pasta to stir fries, you’re bound to find an idea that gets your taste buds excited. 

5. Halve your recipes

If leftovers aren’t your idea of a delicious meal, then simply make a pledge to reduce the quantity of food you cook. If a recipe was created for a family of four, try using half of the ingredients. 

6. Sell by vs. use by dates

The “sell by” date on a container isn’t the same as the “use by” date, so don’t toss out food just because the sell by date has passed. Even if something is past the sell by date, it could still be perfectly safe to eat. 

7. Embrace “ugly” produce

If your bananas have a few brown spots, they’re still perfectly fine to eat. If your produce has a few bruises or brown spots that you can’t quite stomach, try adding them to smoothies. 

8. Make your groceries last longer

The way you store produce has a big impact on how long it’ll last before spoiling. This list has 21 ways to make groceries last longer — did you know that pantyhose is the perfect storage solution for onions?

9. Make sure your refrigerator is running

No, we aren’t referencing an age-old joke. Like any appliance in your house, the fridge needs regular maintenance to perform at its peak. Make sure everything is in working order and reduce your food waste in the process.

10. Learn how much food you truly waste

A problem is hard to fix if you don’t know the whole story, so try tracking how much food goes to waste in your household. Write down everything you throw away, including leftovers from a meal and food that’s gone bad. After a week or two, you’ll have a comprehensive picture of exactly what goes to waste.