This is a great time to think about not only what food we’re putting in our bodies, but also how much food we’re putting in the trash!
In the United States, we waste an astounding 30 to 40 percent of our food supply each year.
While much of the food waste in America occurs in large-scale food operations, we all can make an impact.
5 Ways to Reduce Food Waste
Here are five ways to reduce your food waste at home:
#1 – Plan your meals.
Look ahead at your schedule and plan your meals according to when you’ll be home. This prevents you from wasting food, and it can save you money. Avoid buying ingredients and food items unless you have a plan for them!
#2 – Freeze it.
Peel and chop bananas and avocados, and freeze them to use later in smoothies. Double your favorite recipe and freeze the leftovers for a quick meal that can be reheated on a busy work day or weeknight.
#3 – Prioritize.
Eat the foods with the shortest shelf life earlier in the week, and save heartier foods with longer shelf lives for later.
#4 – Make “Fridge Clean Out” Meals.
Based on your leftovers, plan to make a “fridge clean out” meal. Use what you have in your fridge/pantry to put together a creative meal!
#5 – Challenge Yourself to Zero Waste.
Reserve one week per month where you commit to wasting zero food you purchase. Challenge yourself to see how well you do.
This chicken soup with veggies is a great way to nourish yourself when sick and to use up leftover veggies:
Chicken Soup with Veggies
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups thinly sliced leeks, white parts only
- 2 large garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 cup ¼-inch thick carrot slices
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 3 cups water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1½ pounds cooked shredded chicken (skinless and boneless)
- 1 2-inch fresh rosemary sprig
- 1 19-ounce can rinsed and drained cannellini beans
- ½ cup ¼-inch-thick button mushroom slices
- 2 cups roughly chopped spinach and kale mixture
- ¼ teaspoon salt (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- Heat oil in stockpot over medium heat. Add leeks, carrots and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes or until tender but not browned.
- Add broth, water, lemon juice, chicken and rosemary; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes, skimming occasionally.
- Add beans and mushrooms; simmer 5 minutes.
- Add spinach and kale and cook 2 to 3 minutes more or until tender. Season with salt and pepper.
- Remove rosemary sprig. Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle each with ½ teaspoon parsley.
Here’s a delicious recipe involving rhubarb if you bought this in-season plant on a whim.
- 1 cup (240 milliliters) unsweetened soy milk
- 1 cup frozen mango chunks
- 1 cup frozen sliced rhubarb*
- ⅓ cup fat-free vanilla skyr**
- 1 date, pit removed, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
Add soy milk to a blender followed by mango, rhubarb, skyr, date, chia seeds and ginger. Blend until smooth.
Make it a healthy March!
WakeMed Corporate & Community Health