by Sarah Phillips, CEO and founder, Ugly Produce is Beautiful
Did you know that we consumers account for the largest share of food waste in America? The average American consumer wastes 10 times as much food as someone in Southeast Asia,12 up 50 percent from Americans in the 1970s. American families throw out approximately 25 percent of the food and beverages they buy. In terms of total mass, fresh fruits and vegetables account for the largest losses, followed closely by dairy, and meat/poultry/fish.
We recommend, along with the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) that we Americans can help reduce waste by learning when food goes bad, buying imperfect produce, and storing and cooking food with an eye to reducing waste. (NRDC.org)
Other recommendations we have at Ugly Produce is Beautiful are to:
1. Properly store food. I have developed food storage charts for you to refer to;
2. Learn how to cook and bake with ugly produce or produce that is on its last-legs or over-ripe rather than throwing it away. I have ample recipes for you to use;
3. Rotate food in your fridge and cupboards. I like to rotate food in my fridge at least every other day, and in my cabinets about once a week or month. It always amazes me what perfectly good food I find that I have forgotten about;
4. Shop from a list and only buy what you need from the grocery store;
5. Serve food from small plates or do not overfill regular sized dinner plates. Food waste typically occurs from serving too much food, which tends to goes to waste;
6. Learn to repurpose left-overs or use what you have saved from previous meals stored in the fridge or freezer;
7. Avoid sales with perishable goods unless you know that you're going to consume them right away;
8. Don't wash fruits and vegetables in advance of storage because they spoil more rapidly;
9. Educate yourself about the usable and nutritional parts of fruits and vegetables that can be eaten rather than thrown away;
10. Don't grocery shop when you're hungry, as we tend to impulse buy or buy a lot more.
Do you have any food saving or food waste prevention tips that you can add here? We'd love to hear them!
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