March is National Nutrition Month which means several establishments and entities will provide information on how to live a nutritionally sound and fruitful life. In an attempt to lower our grocery bill and better allocate the amount of food that goes into our homes every month, there is an initiative to “Go Further With Food.” This essentially deals with being less wasteful and getting more actual use from the food you buy without it going bad from non-use or being stored improperly.
This country wastes an inordinate amount of perfectly good food on a daily basis. Up to 31 percent of food is wasted on a yearly basis with almost 28 percent of produce thrown out. This is something that we should feel ashamed of especially when there are so many that could benefit from access to free food.
Eat What You Have
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson Melissa Majumdar says: “Far too often, good food goes bad before we get the chance to eat it. Before going to the grocery store, check inside your refrigerator. Eat what you already have at home before buying more. To reduce waste, also date all frozen items and use the oldest food first.”
Sometimes the issue comes down to what we feel like eating and what seems appetizing to us. Dining out or ordering in can seem like a much better, more mouth-watering option. But this essentially guarantees you wasting money erroneously if you happen to have a fully stocked refrigerator.
Produce becomes less fresh every day that it sits waiting to be used. Leftover meals that can continue to feed you or your family one or two more times only have about a three-to-five-day shelf life before they start to go bad.
Have A Meal Plan
One way that you can ensure you are wasting as little food as possible is to stick to a meal plan. Make a few dishes and seal them in airtight, glass containers so that they will be good for a large portion of the week. Always use glass containers because they are much safer to have contact with your food than plastic. They are also largely made with airtight lids which help the food to stay fresher longer.
It’s also a good idea to freeze at least half or a fourth of any meal you cook. This ensures that it can be used much later after it thaws. These tips will help allow you to get the full amount of use out of the items you purchase. Also, always go grocery shopping after you’ve eaten. Never go on an empty stomach because you’re much more likely to go over your budget.
Being wasteful is something that we, as a society, can and should prevent. Food shouldn’t be thrown out as it doesn’t help anyone. We need to be steadfast and dedicated to not only saving money for ourselves but also not creating unnecessary waste that could have easily gone into the stomachs of starving individuals.