Up to 40% of food in the US is thrown away. Half of this food gets thrown out at home by home cooks like you and me. Food waste is one of the most dreadful sustainability issues that strain the economy and the environment. While the issue is global, the solution can be local. Let's talk about ways to make the most out of the food you have at home. What can be done to minimize food waste and maximize your food budget?
- Preserve food at home. If you bought too many fresh vegetables such as cucumbers, onions, beans, tomatoes, squash, and carrots, they could be used for a quick refrigerator pickle. Cut them, put them in jars, and fill the jar with the brine of your choice. The basic brine contains 1/2 water and 1/2 vinegar. Add salt, spices, or herbs to mix up the flavor. You can also freeze almost every fruit, berry, and vegetable out there.
- Sunday meal-prep. Prepare all your meals in advance in bulk on Sundays instead of cooking every day. This will help you save up tons of products that would wilt or go bad if opened and forgotten.
- Smart storage. After buying fresh products, don't just store them in the fridge. Most of the fruits and vegetables will begin to rot if kept as is. Peel, cut, and store carrots, celery, or radishes in cold water to keep them fresh. Keep tomatoes out of the fridge to allow them to ripen. Keep cucumbers or cabbages in an airtight bag. Blanch potatoes and throw them in a freezer. Everything can be used up later that week!