Google+

The Green Minute: Green Tips on Preventing Food Waste

Earlier this month, The Green Register published a redorbit.com story about how we waste half our food globally – nearly 2 billion dreamstime_xs_11759120_opt8tons annually. To help combat food waste, today’s Green Minute comes from Earth911?s 5 Easy Steps to Reduce Food Waste.

Here are their “eco-friendly” Reduce Food Waste tips:

1. Start at the grocery store

If you find yourself throwing away loads of spoiled food each week, you may want to consider revising your shopping habits to cut back on waste.

Start by taking smaller, more frequent shopping trips. This may seem like a bit of a hassle. But shopping a few times per week allows you to wait until perishables are used up before replenishing them, which will greatly decrease food spoilage in your fridge.

To help make the most of smaller shopping trips, write up a list of the specific items you need before leaving for the grocery store. And stick to the list while shopping! Avoid impulse buys, especially with perishable items.

And try to be realistic about the amount of food you buy. If you live alone or have a small family, stick to a limited number of perishables each week. If you have a busy work schedule, don’t shop as if you’ll be making everything from scratch. Buying only what you can use in the near future will save you the hassle of cooking, freezing or preserving extra food before it spoils.

2. Use it up

When you’re working with whole meats, veggies and fruits, the best way to reduce food waste is to use the whole thing. Try leaving the skin on veggies like potatoes and cucumbers, and incorporate meat bones and vegetable scraps into stocks, sauces and gravies.

Think you don’t have time to make stock from scratch? Think again. Save all your vegetable and meat scraps in a reusable container in the freezer until you’ve accumulated enough to make a large batch of stock (at least 8 cups of scraps).

On a lazy weekend afternoon, consult our simple tutorial and whip up some homemade stock with less than 10 minutes of prep time. Use equal portions of flour and olive oil or butter to thicken your stock for gravies and sauces. Finished stocks, gravies and sauces can be stored in the freezer for up to two months.

For fruit scraps and other leftovers you don’t want to use for stock, check out our handy reuse guide for food scraps, and use your throw-aways for everything from cleaning the kitchen to shining your shoes.

3. Understand sell-by dates

A staggering amount of food is wasted due to customer confusion about “sell-by” labels, the U.K. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) found last year. DEFRA published detailed guidelines for food and drink makers to relieve confusion in the U.K., but the “sell-by” date mystery affects shoppers worldwide.

Almost always, “sell-by” dates tell retailers when they should stop displaying goods on shelves. Wary of foodborne illnesses, many shoppers are quick to throw items away after this date. But if stored properly, goods are often safe for several more days.

“Even if the [sell-by] date expires during home storage, a product should be safe, wholesome and of good quality if handled properly and kept at 40 degrees or below,” said the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Consult their handy home storage chart to make the most of your perishables and get answers to all your food-safety questions.

When it comes to “expiration” and “use-by” dates, use your senses before throwing something away. If food looks, smells and tastes normal, it should be safe to use even if the expiration date has passed. But once it starts developing these characteristics, it’s time to throw it out, the FSIS said.

4. Finish the leftovers

A half-eaten casserole isn’t always the most appetizing meal option. So, try giving your leftovers a facelift to make them seem a bit more appealing to the family.

Toss leftovers like roasted meats, vegetable sides and cooked pastas into a crockpot for soups or stews. Wrap last night’s dinner up with some eggs in a breakfast burrito. Or make a sandwich using your Friday fish-fry.

For more recipe ideas, check out LoveFoodHateWaste.com, which provides a database full of delicious leftover-based recipes from top Scottish chefs, or download the free Love Food, Hate Waste app for iPhone and Android for on-the-go meal planning.

5. Store it smarter

Storing your food properly is the No. 1 way to reduce spoilage in your kitchen. Always store perishables in an airtight container, and know when to move foods from the fridge to the freezer.

Always freeze meats that you don’t plan to use within two or three days. Make sure meat is patted dry and placed in an airtight container before freezing to reduce the risk of freezer burn.

Check out the entire Earth911.com  Reduce Food Waste in 5 Easy Steps article with links to studies and additional eco-friendly tips.

Visit www.thegreenregister.com for more eco-friendly articles.

Entertainment

Historical Drama Recounts Scandalous Interracial Romance

  A United Kingdom Film Review by Kam Williams Historical Drama Recounts Scandalous Interracial Romance Upon the untimely death of his father, Seretse Khama (David Oyelowo) was crowned the King of Bechuanaland at the tender age of 4. But his Uncle Tshekedi (Vusi Kunene) assumed the reins of power until the heir apparent could complete his education. While studying law in Great Britain, Seretse fell in love at first sight with Ruth … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

The President’s Kitchen Cabinet

  The President's Kitchen Cabinet The Story of the African-Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, from the Washingtons to the Obamas by Adrian Miller University of North Carolina Press Hardcover, $30.00 292 pages, Illustrated ISBN: 978-1-4696-3253-7 Book Review by Kam Williams “[This opus] vividly tells the stories of the African-Americans who worked in the presidential food service as chefs, personal cooks, butlers, stewards … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the days of pain, the days of sorrow. We are in mourning. The sky looks down and sheds its tears for … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

History Being Sold to the Highest Bidder

  History Being Sold to the Highest Bidder by Amy Lignor   For the longest time, scientists and archaeologists have been confused and bemused by various discoveries they’ve unearthed that offer little or no explanation as to the who, what, and why of the people who created these things or left them behind. Even now, in 2017, there are discoveries being studied; stories that were once legends now have actual bits of proof being found that … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

Trump and Traditions of the Founders

  Trump and Traditions of the Founders By Ezrah Aharone Maybe I should watch more CNN or MSNBC to be convinced since most Black people seemingly regard Donald Trump as some sort of abrupt political mutation who violates America’s traditions. What I see in Trump is “America’s traditional reflection in the mirror.” I see the exact same hardline and hostile government that the founders deliberately engineered with deep political and racial … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Skeeter Recognized Again for Excellence in Customer Satisfaction

  Skeeter Recognized Again for Excellence in Customer Satisfaction    Skeeter, a leader in performance fishing boats, announced today from the Miami International Boat Show® that the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA®) has again recognized Skeeter with a CSI Award for excellence in customer satisfaction in the Freshwater Fiberglass Outboard Boat category. This year’s award is the fifteenth consecutive for Skeeter, an … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

Super Bowl LI’s Message: Patriotism

  Super Bowl LI’s Message: Patriotism by Amy Lignor   There are some people waking up this morning completely stunned. Why? Because they shut the Super Bowl off after the third quarter. They knew what was “going to happen” and had to go to work today, so why bother staying up and watching the rest of what was going to be an obvious blow-out? Besides, they had been given some memorable commercials, a great country western singer ushering … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Business Industries to Explore in 2017

  Business Industries to Explore in 2017 by Amy Lignor   It’s no surprise that with the popular TV show “Shark Tank” taking over the headlines, promoting small businesses and giving people the chance to ‘make it big,’ that the industry researchers have gotten together a list of the very best opportunities when it comes to starting up companies in 2017. The profits are there, in some categories, just waiting to be made, and most do … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

It’s Time to Save for Summer Vacation!

  It’s Time to Save for Summer Vacation! by Amy Lignor   Putting the “pennies in the piggy bank” is something everyone in this world does (or wants to do) on a daily basis. But NOW is the time to take those “extra” pennies and purchase that great piggy bank that’s perhaps wearing some sunglasses, a colorful hat, some swim trunks…anything that makes that new piggy remind you of the one thing you want to do all year long – go on the … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden

  Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden by Amy Lignor   Many are still dealing with that wintery mix Mother Nature just loves to toss down from the sky this time of year. Yet, that gardener living inside the soul – the one just dreaming of the sunny skies and lazy rainy days that are must-haves in order to grow the best vegetables possible – is already jotting down the facts, tricks and tips they need to know in order to make that … [Read More its Good for You...]