[00:00:00] All right, let’s get real and talk about food waste. This is a major problem, not just for individuals, but it’s like a global issue. Do you ever go into your refrigerator? And look inside and find a ton of food that is rotten, expired, or you totally forgot about it because it was in, you know, like wrapped in aluminum foil, shoved in the back of the refrigerator and you have no clue what it is.
[00:00:32] You’re not alone. Most Americans throw away 40% of their food. 40% that’s insane. That’s almost throwing away half of how much you spend on your groceries each month. This is an issue and it’s bigger than just us as individuals. 42 million people today face hunger, and one in eight Americans struggle to put food on the table
[00:00:58] Yet we’re throwing away [00:01:00] 40% of the food that we have. Something just doesn’t, doesn’t work here. So for me personally, I am working on having our family use up all of the food that we have so we don’t waste it and throw it away. And I think if each of us work towards this goal that will help the world, it will help us be able to be better with our resources and not being wasteful.
[00:01:30] And it helps us be more intentional with what we have and what we’re given. And one of the things that I do to help us with limiting our food waste is by waiting longer between going grocery shopping. When I have a full fridge, I know that it’s a lot easier for food to just be forgotten. So when you have less in your fridge.
[00:01:55] You’ll have an easier time making sure that you use what you have. So I’m [00:02:00] going to go into some more stats on food waste so you just can get a better idea and understanding of what this issue really looks like. So the first one is that 40% of produce grown in the U S is left in the landfill, or is left to rotten.
[00:02:17] The field, that’s 40% so. 40% is not even being, you know, brought to the grocery store or to the restaurants. It’s just being thrown away, which is just mind blowing to begin with. Secondly. The Americans spend 218 billion, okay. With a B billion or 1.3% of our gross domestic product, growing, processing, and disposing of food that will never be eaten.
[00:02:53] $218 billion worth of food is never, never [00:03:00] made like it never has a chance. It’s just being thrown away. Yet. We have such a hunger issue worldwide, and even in America, one out of three calories are wasted worldwide. One out of three, so like a third of the food in the world is wasted. Like. I have a hard time wrapping my mind around that.
[00:03:27] It’s just that’s not okay. And then if you go even further, 94% of the food we throw away ends up in landfills or combustion facilities. So it’s not going to be like, it’s not helpful for anyone. So what do we do with these statistics? Like it’s an issue, but how can we start working on ourselves and helping.
[00:03:53] Not create a bigger food waste issue. So I’m going to talk to you about some ways to curb [00:04:00] on your food waste and start saving money plus helping the environment. So that’s a win win, right? So the first way to do this is to not overbuy on produce. If your counter is full of produce, that just goes there to die.
[00:04:20] That’s not okay. So look at how much produce you are throwing out. Like for us, I started realizing that I was overbuying on salary, which is kind of a weird thing because by the time I would like pull the salary out, it would be wilty and I realized our family just doesn’t really eat celery that much, and I don’t add it to as many dishes as I should probably.
[00:04:46] And so I stopped buying salary as much. Start gauging how much food your family goes through. And I think a lot of times we think like, Oh, we eat super healthy, so we have a ton of produce in our [00:05:00] house. If that’s your mindset, but then the reality doesn’t actually show that you guys are eating the amount of produce, then start cutting back on buying that produce.
[00:05:12] Asking your kids like, what? What would you want to have as a snack? Are you into apples more than bananas? Or you know, whatever it is. And you can also look at some produce lasts a lot longer than others. So if you buy a huge thing of salad from Costco and you realize that you throw away half of it.
[00:05:36] Clearly it’s a better use of your time and your money to buy a smaller bag at a grocery store for a lot less. Instead of buying a giant amount that ends up being thrown away. Here’s another way to help save on food waste is to know what you have in your fridge before you go shopping. You can do this also for your freezer and for.
[00:05:58] What you have [00:06:00] inside of your pantry, you can take a photo on your cell phone. So that way if you need to go and refer and see like, Hey, I have a third of a gallon of milk left, or maybe I don’t need to buy a gallon yet of milk, you know, whatever it is. If you have a visual, then you can go and look and say, Hey, I, I do need to stock up on this and not other things.
[00:06:25] So that’s an easy way to help you. To see how much you actually have before you go to the grocery store. Another idea is to freeze leftovers before you have to throw them away. This is so key. There’s so many people that throw away leftovers. And I’m guilty of this sometimes as well, but one thing I’ve started doing that has really helped us is to freeze.
[00:06:48] You know, like I, last week I’ve, I made a big pot of chicken and I, um. I did pull chicken so I can put it into like tacos [00:07:00] and do all kinds of different things with it and make like barbecue pulled chicken sandwiches and things like that. But I made too much chicken and so instead of just throwing it away because I forgot about using it and it was past its prime, I put it in a freezer bag, I labeled it and I put it in my freezer.
[00:07:21] So when I am running low on meat in the fridge. I can just pull that out and I have something that’s premade that I already spent the time and effort on that I can just use. And it makes life so much easier. So start freezing those leftovers. You can also eat those leftovers for lunch. We. Typically have leftovers for lunch almost every single day, and it helps us to gauge and make sure we’re not throwing stuff away because we’re actually eating our leftovers and set up.
[00:07:54] Just storing them in the fridge so that way we can end up throwing it away when it’s all moldy and disgusting. [00:08:00] Another idea is to re recreate new meals out of what you have on hand. You might feel like, Oh, these leftovers are boring. One thing I like to do is to make like, like I was talking about the chicken, like a bigger batch of chicken that I can use in all different ways.
[00:08:17] If I made this big batch of chicken and just made it all barbecue chicken. That would limit what I could do with it. When I don’t put a ton of seasonings in it, I can make it into, um, use it for nachos or tacos or a top it on a salad or make it into an Asian dish. Like you can do all kinds of different things with it, but by making it more bland, it gives you more options to use it in different ways throughout the week.
[00:08:52] Another way to do this is to freeze produce on sheet pans and then transfer those into [00:09:00] freezer bags. It’s really helpful to put it on sheet pans because if you, I’ve done this before, like if you tried to freeze grapes, which I love eating frozen grapes, I don’t know if you’ve ever tried that, but if you just freeze grapes.
[00:09:17] Without putting it on a sheet pan, it’s pretty much just like this big giant frozen bad of of grapes that is impossible to get anything out of. But when you freeze it on a sheet pan, everything comes off individually. Like doing this for strawberries or anything else that. It’s, it would be helpful to separate it.
[00:09:40] I don’t do this for like rhubarb and, and things like that, that I would just use the entire container. In a recipe. But if you’re going to want to use like blueberries and freeze them, you would want to make sure you put it on a sheet pan in the freezer, let it freeze completely. Then put [00:10:00] it in a container and put it back in your freezer.
[00:10:03] And this is a great way to do this, to produce that is close to needing to, you know, like you overbought or there was a great deal and you got a flat of strawberries for a great deal. Freeze them up. So that way you don’t have to spend money on frozen strawberries to add to your smoothies. Another way to help save on your, um, and cut back on your food waste is to meal plan.
[00:10:31] I know a ton of people that love meal planning and it’s like their thing. For me, I struggle with meal planning because I don’t like how rigid it is and I like being able to. To tell. Like I know I feel different every day of like what I want to eat and I don’t want to try to plan at the beginning of the week what I want to have for the whole week.
[00:10:52] So I do more meal prepping, but if meal planning works for you, so that way you just buy what you need for that week [00:11:00] and that’s it. Do it. Another way to curb on your food waste is when you do make too much food. Is to give it away, bring it to a neighbor or someone you know who, who would be blessed by it.
[00:11:14] Like if you know someone who just had a baby or their kids are sick or you know, like whatever it is, if you have made extra food, it’s such a blessing to bring it over to someone who would appreciate it. Today, my neighbors just brought me some spaghetti sauce that they made and they make the best spaghetti sauce.
[00:11:33] Like olive garden has no chance in comparison. And. It’s so nice of them to bring some over to us and when we bring food over to other people because we made too much, or we just feel like it’d be a kind thing to do, it’s so helpful. So instead of having it be thrown away, bring it to someone who could actually use it.
[00:11:57] Another idea [00:12:00] is if you continually throw away, produce, start reducing the amount of trips you take to the grocery store or the amount you buy. And I think you have to figure out, it could be both of those issues. Maybe you’re going to the grocery store and every time you go there you pick up more fruits and veggies and then you go back home and you realize, I have so much fruits and veggies and I didn’t even realize it.
[00:12:24] So start looking and paying attention to your spending habits. . Another way to help curb on food waste is to organize your fridge, to know what you have, and this also helps for your pantry, for your freezer. If you know what you own at your house, you’re not going to end up buying all this stuff and you can see like, Oh, I have some beans in that are like canned beans that need to be used up soon.
[00:12:52] I’m going to figure out some way to incorporate that into a meal. And when you realize like, Oh, I have some milk that’s closer to [00:13:00] being expired, what if I make some pudding? Or maybe I should make a smoothie or something that I use that milk for. So that way you’re not throwing it away. So try using it or incorporating into pancakes or something like that.
[00:13:16] Another way to help. Save on your curb. Euro food waste is to store your leftovers and something that you can see through. So clear containers would really help. So if you, you can get glass containers, you can get the plastic ones. I’ve really been steering clear of using plastic and trying to not have that.
[00:13:40] For any of the containers that we use. But that’s up to you. But when you can see through the containers, it helps you actually know what you have. So you’re less likely to have food items just hang out in your fridge just to go and rocked. And then the last thing is to organize your pantry so you [00:14:00] know what you have.
[00:14:01] This is just so key. If you know what you have and makes life so much easier.