Eat Your Vegetables and Fruits in This Order to Minimize Food Waste
Lately, I’ve taken on an effort to minimize food waste as my own personal mission. I know how important it is to eat vegetables and fruits as a regular part of my daily diet, but it’s impossible to ignore the fact that so much of it spoils quickly. If you’re anything like me and you shop at a farmers’ market and grocery store once per week, then strategy is involved to make sure you’re not just throwing food away when it goes bad before it can get eaten.
My Strategy to Minimize Food Waste
The following are the steps I take to make sure that I’m eating healthful ingredients on a regular basis while being able to minimize food waste at the same time. After all, at the prices we’re currently facing, who can afford to throw out what was purchased? Tossing ingredients before they could be eaten has never been a good idea – particularly when considering the issues our world and our country are facing with hunger and garbage – but at the moment, it’s cutting into a growing portion of my daily budget.
Steps I Take to Minimize Food Waste
Here’s what I do to control and minimize food waste as much as possible.
1 – Plan Ahead (to a degree)
I’d love to say that I can create a set shopping list for each week and stick to it without deviating. I can’t. That said, I can tell myself before I head to the farmers’ market that I will need two types of greens (at least one for a fresh salad), one type of berries, one other type of fruit, etc. etc. If I need a specific ingredient for a recipe, I’ll list it. Otherwise, I keep it general for a feeling of flexibility. It lets me discover what is there without encouraging me to buy more than I need. If something is new and interesting, I have the chance to work it into my list.
2 – Buy Only What is Needed
In the same vein, if I decide to buy rapini, then I typically decide not to buy kale, for instance, even if my intention had been to buy kale. If the peaches are beautiful and my intention had been to buy apples, I buy the peaches and leave the apples for next time. I don’t buy both because I won’t go through them all.
3 – Use Them in the Right Order
Among all the tricks I use, I think this one is the most helpful. When I add everything I got at the grocery store or farmers’ market into my fridge, I place the items that will last the longest at the back of the shelf/crisper drawer, and I work my way forward. If there’s something still in there that I haven’t used yet and that won’t last as long as anything else, that gets pulled up to the front.
This way, I’ll see it and be reminded of it. The most effective way for me to minimize food waste is to avoid forgetting that I have it in the first place. By having it right in front of me, I’m more likely to spot it and use it up before it spoils. Then, once it’s gone, the next thing I’ll see is the next thing that would spoil, so I’ll use that up in time too.