Did you know that roughly 40 percent of the food produced in the U.S. all produced food is wasted? That’s like walking out of the store with three bags, dropping one bag in the parking lot and leaving it there.
Doing your part to reduce food waste will not only help reduce your environmental footprint, but it will save you money!
Here’s how to set up your kitchen for success.
Help your fridge do its job
Set your fridge at 40˚F or below, which helps fresh foods retain their nutrients for longer. If your fridge doesn’t have a thermometer, place a food thermometer in the center of the middle shelf. When it comes to meat and poultry, I usually freeze what I’m not using immediately which helps free up fridge space and reduces the risk of cross-contamination (i.e. bacteria transfer from one food to another). As the week goes on I’ll pull what I need from the freezer and allow it to defrost in the fridge.
Be realistic about your time and energy
Ask yourself an important question each week: What are you willing to prep yourself vs. what could be purchased pre-prepped? Timesavers such as triple-washed bagged lettuce can be great lifesavers. Plus, many grocery stores today have taken on the art of “vegetable butchery”, showcasing products such as spiralized raw veggie noodles and walls of ready-to-go, pre-chopped vegetables. Although prepped produce is more expensive upfront, the price of vegetables left to rot and become unusable is costlier.
A clean, smartly organized kitchen is the secret to success. How your options are presented to you has a huge effect on the choices you’ll make throughout your day!
Related: How to Outsmart Food Waste