Think.Eat.Save is a campaign that works to spread awareness of the environmental impact of the foods that we buy, eat, and waste. Through its website, events, and projects such the SAVE FOOD Initiative, this anti-food waste campaign encourages you to take action in making smart decisions regarding food choices. It is also the theme of this year’s World Environment Day.
An estimated 1.3 billion tons of food (about a third of the world’s total food production) is wasted per year. When you consider the staggering amount of malnourished people in the world – nearly one billion – it is obvious that food waste is a pressing issue. And though this dilemma is a global one, you as an individual and as a household can help address it and lend a hand in solving it.
Here are some ways that you can contribute to the Think.Eat.Save movement:
Store Food the Right Way. Learning the best ways to store different types of foods is one of the best ways to keep your food fresh, flavorful, and long-lasting.
- Fridge. Make sure that your refrigerator is the right temperature – between 35 and 38⁰ F. Keep fruits and veggies like carrots and apples in their packages at the bottom of your fridge. Anything that you aren’t planning on eating any time soon should be put in the freezer until the time comes to defrost and use.
- Pantry. Bread and potatoes should be stored in a cool dark place such as your pantry or cupboard.
Eat Seasonally. Choose the fruits and veggies that are in season. By doing this, you are helping reduce the distance that foods travel while at the same time supporting local farming.
Re-Grow Fruit and Veggie Scraps. There are many foods that can be re-grown, such as avocados, celery, potatoes, ginger, and herbs. By reviving fruit and veggie scraps, you can help reduce landfill waste, save money, and grow healthy, organic food for you and your family.
Compost. Don’t just throw out unusable bits of fruits and veggies like rinds and skins. Composting them helps out the environment as well as your garden. Kitchen waste can be turned into nutrient-rich material that is beneficial to your garden or potting soil.
Plan Meals Ahead of Time. At the beginning of the week, make a rough estimate of what you will be eating throughout the week. Doing this will allow you to grocery shop efficiently in order to save money and eliminate food waste at the end of the week.
Reuse Containers. Look at every container that you buy as potential for storage and other uses. For example: pickle, salsa, and jam jars can be reused as drinking glasses, empty yogurt containers can hold leftovers, and old coffee cans can organize cooking utensils by the stove.
So join the movement today and start making conscientious food decisions. Not only will you be healthier, feeling good, and have a bit more cash in your wallet, you can rest easy knowing that you are lending a hand in the fight against food waste. Happy World Environment Day everyone!