If tossing spoiled food from your fridge is more of a routine than an exception, it may have something to do with your healthy diet.
Studies show that healthier eaters waste more food than the average person, largely because they’re buying more fruits and veggies, which tend to go bad faster than processed foods.
We’re not suggesting you should swap oranges for Oreos. Instead, check out these tips to help you reduce the amount of food waste in your kitchen and eat more of the food that you buy (win-win!).
How to reduce food waste
1. Declutter your fridge
This is easier said than done, we know, especially with roommates. But when food is visible, it is less likely to be forgotten and spoil. A good rule: put the oldest food in the front to make it as accessible as possible.
2. Get crafty in the kitchen
Bananas turning too brown to eat? Hello, banana bars! Broccoli stalks not really your thing? Try turning them into a pesto. There are tons of fun and inventive ways to reuse food and hey, maybe you’ll find a new favorite recipe.
3. Freeze your food
If you know you’re not going to eat those blueberries or bagels before they start to mold, pop them in the freezer. The extra cold temperatures will keep them edible for far longer than the fridge or pantry.
4. Know the label lingo
“Sell by,” “Best before,” and “Use by” all have slightly different meanings about when food is suggested to be eaten. The important part to remember: none of these labels mean that you absolutely can’t eat the food after the date listed. Trust your judgment. Of course, if you see mold or it smells weird, toss it.
“Best before” dates are just one common food waste myth. We busted two others in this previous blog post.
5. Be a smart shopper
Plan ahead. Making grocery lists will not only help you waste less food, but it will also help you spend less money and avoid buying things impulsively (we’re looking at you, freezer-burned popsicles).
6. Enjoy the food shopping experience
Studies show that going to the grocery store more often and buying smaller amounts at once leads to less food waste. So, find a grocery store that makes you happy and doesn’t stress you out. And experiment with the time you get your groceries to figure out your shopping style.
7. Embrace food containers
By purchasing clear glass containers (not plastic, of course), you’ll be able to see what’s inside and be less likely to forget what leftovers are hiding in your fridge.
8. Learn more about organizations working to fight food waste
Thankfully, lots of organizations are working to reduce the amount of food wasted in the world. Check out these groups:
Want to put your food-waste knowledge to the test? Take our quiz: Do you know the shocking truth about food waste?