Let's face it, food waste is a huge problem. Every day, millions of people around the world waste food that is perfectly edible. This is not only a massive waste of resources and money, but it also directly impacts our environment and health. Yet, it's a problem that we can all do something about. We can all take action to reduce the wastage of food and make a positive impact on our planet.
When you throw away food, it ends up in landfills, producing methane, a potent greenhouse gas contributing to climate change. This is because the decomposition of food waste releases methane, a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Studies have shown that methane traps heat in the atmosphere 28 times more effectively than carbon dioxide.
Not only does the wastage of food pollute the environment, but it also has a severe impact on our health. When food goes to waste, vital resources like water, energy, and labor are also wasted. This leads to higher food production demands, which may increase the use of harmful pesticides, fertilizers, and chemicals that can negatively affect our health.
Remember that throwing away food also means throwing away the nutrients intended to nourish our bodies. This can lead to malnutrition and other health issues, especially in communities already vulnerable to food shortages.
So next time you are inclined to throw out that faded lettuce or overripe fruit, think about its impact on the environment and your health. Instead, try to find ways to reduce food waste by planning meals, buying only what you need, and using leftovers creatively. By reducing food waste, we can not only help protect the planet but we can also WIN Sustainably by creating healthier and more sustainable communities.
1. Commit to the mantra, "I eat all the food I buy," and plan your meals accordingly. When you plan your meals and shop wisely, you can avoid buying excess food that may go to waste. It is also essential to be cautious of the portions you serve and to store any leftovers properly so you can eat them the next time as another meal.
Planning meals can also help you save time in the long run because you can prepare meals in advance and minimize the need for last-minute takeout or microwave meals.
2. Eat your leftovers or get creative and make an entirely new dish with them. If you're not a creative chef, whip up a hearty soup with whatever leftovers you have. If you have too much food, share it with a friend, neighbor, or colleague.
Are you a creative chef? We invite you to take a picture of any creative meals you made from leftovers and tag us using #WINSustainably to share your “sustainable lifestyle win” with our community on social media.
3. Follow the below suggestions to ensure your food stays fresh, edible, and delicious for as long as possible:
• Abide by the two-hour rule - food like meat, poultry, fish, eggs, cooked meals, or leftovers should not be left out at room temperature for more than two hours. To be sure, use the LOOK, SMELL, and TASTE tests to determine if food is safe to consume.
• Use airtight glass containers with tight-fitting lids to store food in the fridge. Write the date your food was opened and, if applicable, the expiration date. Make sure to keep food covered while in the fridge to maximize its shelf life. As an added bonus, some dishes taste better the next day (like lasagne!).
• Regularly clean your fridge - Try to do this every Friday - to see what food needs to be eaten before it goes bad. This gives you a chance to plan meals for the coming week.
• If you have more food than you can eat in one sitting, freeze or refrigerate the leftovers immediately. When reheating food, try to do it quickly in the microwave for 30 seconds before serving to keep it fresh.
• After a baking rush, you should immediately freeze or put in the fridge the quantity you know that you will not be eating on the same day. Once it’s time to eat, just take what you baked from the fridge and reheat it quickly in the microwave for 30 seconds. Do this just before serving to keep it fresh and tasty!
• Finally, use the ingredients on hand to plan your meals for the week. For example, you can make a tortilla from yesterday's potatoes and veggies and add some eggs.
4. Buy local, in-season food to reduce the environmental impact and support local farmers. When you buy food in season and grown locally, you reduce the carbon emissions of transporting food from far away. And supporting local farmers helps to keep money within the local community, which creates jobs and strengthens the local economy.
5. Make a difference in your community by giving your surplus food to local food banks or groups that fight food insecurity. When you donate your excess food, you contribute to reducing food waste while also assisting people in need. It's a simple yet powerful activity that can have a big effect in your community.
Making food sustainability part of your lifestyle helps reduce food waste, benefits the environment, and lets you get creative with your cooking. When you use up the ingredients you have on hand, you're forced to think outside the box and devise new and inventive ways to use them. This can result in various new and exciting dishes you may not have tried otherwise.
So, if you have leftover rice and vegetables, you can make a delicious stir-fry or fried rice. If you have some stale bread, you can use it to make a tasty bread pudding or croutons. The possibilities are endless, and you might even surprise yourself with how much you enjoy experimenting in the kitchen.
It is not difficult to reduce food waste and begin working toward food sustainability, positively impacting the environment. By taking tiny efforts, we can make our actions matter and create a brighter future for all of us.
Join us and let's make it happen!
This is a traditional Spanish omelette also referred to as the potato tortilla. This dish is ideal for picnics or if you want a quick healthy meal for young or old!
Indulge in the taste of Spain with this delectable Spanish Tortilla! This recipe is a masterpiece of flavors packed with a variety of fresh vegetables and creamy eggs baked to perfection. Here's how you can create this mouthwatering dish with ease and simplicity.
Start by gathering all your favorite vegetables and chop them into small pieces. Heat up some oil in a pan and sauté the onions and vegetables for a good 2 to 3 minutes until they are tender and slightly browned. If you have any leftover potatoes make sure to add them in for an extra burst of flavor.
While your vegetables are cooking preheat your oven to 180* and prepare your egg mixture. Beat your eggs until they're light and fluffy then add a touch of milk or cooking cream to create a creamy consistency.
Next, transfer your vegetable mixture into a greased oven dish and pour the egg mixture over it. Make sure to evenly spread the vegetables in the dish so every bite is filled with a diversity of flavors. Let it bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes until the eggs are perfectly set.
When the timer goes off it's time to add the finishing touches. Sprinkle a generous amount of shredded Emmental cheese or Mozzarella over the top and add some freshly chopped parsley for a pop of color and taste. Let it sit in the oven for another 2 to 3 minutes to allow the cheese to melt.
Last step, take the dish out of the oven and let it cool down for a few minutes before serving. This dish is perfect for any occasion and pairs well with a fresh salad or some crusty bread. So go ahead, treat your taste buds to a flavorful journey to Spain with our Spanish Tortilla recipe!
By the way, you can serve it warm or cold… both as delicious!
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