I check The Weather Network website pretty regularly for the weather and happened to notice one of their “Top Stories” yesterday: “Up to half of the world’s food goes to waste.“ Whaaaaat!!! The article is based on a recent study from the UK that found between 30-50% of all food goes to waste annually, either from consumers’ habits, poor harvesting or poor care/storage.
In my opinion, a good chunk of that 50% comes from bad consumer habits. All too often I see people throw out half a sandwich/bagel they’re too full to eat, throw out a banana just because it is no longer completely yellow, take two bites out of an apple then throw it away, or peel off the crusts on their sandwich and throw them away. Save that half a sandwich for a snack later or even for part of tomorrow’s lunch. If a banana is too “brown” for you to eat, then bake something with it or freeze it for use in a smoothie at a later date. And unless your restaurant meal really sucked, take a doggie bag home! You’ve already paid for the whole meal so why throw that money and perfectly good food in the garbage?
As the article suggests, there are certainly things we can do to better our consumer habits:
- If you have leftovers on your plate after a meal, put them in the fridge to eat later rather than throwing them out. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with leftovers! Leftovers are just as tasty as they were the first time you ate the meal (sometimes even more tasty the second time around!) and are also very convenient, especially when on a tight schedule.
- If you typically don’t finish your plate when eating out, maybe start ordering a smaller size dish, OR be sure to take your leftovers home. Again, I can’t stress the awesomeness of leftovers!
- Check out the “reduced” section at the grocery store. Whether it’s bananas, peppers, melon, berries, beans, rhubarb, zucchini, whatever – you can freeze all of this! We have all of the above (and more) cut up and frozen at home. Not only does buying reduced food save you money, you usually get a good amount of food for the reduced price, plus having it in the freezer is so convenient!
- Watch your serving sizes at meals. Don’t heap your plate unless you know for sure you’re going to be able to finish it all. Start with small portions, you can always go back for more!
I was raised to always clean my plate so it kinda-sorta-really bothers me when other people leave food on theirs. I always think of all the people in the world who get very little or even no food and would do anything for that half a sandwich, two-bites-taken-out-of-apple or your restaurant leftovers. The only kind of food waste we should have is the skins/peels/seeds of food. So please please PLEASE don’t throw away perfectly good food!!! Let’s strive to be more conservative with our food habits from now on!
*P.S. My blog hit 1000 views over the weekend! 😀 Thank you to everyone for your support!