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Tips for Reducing Food Waste

by Marilyn Polon

November 7, 2020

Friends –

We call this column “health tips from Soupermom.” I love providing ideas for you, your community, and hopefully the planet! When we think about everyone and every *thing* related to our food choices, the word “health” applies pretty broadly!

Many of us were shocked to see images of farmers literally throwing away food at the start of the pandemic, while many of our neighbors were lining up for food. How did we get to this point? It is really complicated, but a big issue is food waste. The good news is that you can take real steps to help lower waste in your home. A few ideas:

– Don’t pay too much attention to expiration dates. Those dates are often misleading and/or exaggerated. You can usually intuit when food has gone bad by its look and/or smell. Obviously, be smart about this. If your hummus container is bloated – please don’t eat it!

– Cook with what you have. Before shopping for more food, clear out your pantry and your freezer. Get creative in the kitchen with items you’ve already purchased.

– Speaking of your freezer – use it! You can extend the shelf life of many items (like soup) by putting them in the freezer.

– Attach additional value to your food. Don’t think only about the amount of money you paid. Consider the laborers, the farmers, the drivers, the grocery store staff – everyone involved in getting that food to your refrigerator. When you consider all of these factors, you might be less inclined to let food go to waste.

– When thinking about the holidays, plan small! Many of us will be celebrating with much smaller groups, or solo this year. We probably don’t need three types of stuffing. Keep your meals simple, delicious, and small.

Lastly, compost your scraps. Putting food inside plastic bags and then into a landfill is one of the worst things we can do for the planet. Compost those scraps and turn them into new vegetables!

These steps all might seem small, but can have a huge impact if we all take them together!

Sending you love and health.

Love,

Soupermom

*NOTE – Soupermom is not a licensed dietitian, doctor, personal trainer, or anything like that. She’s just extremely knowledgeable about healthy living!! But if you slip and fall while taking her advice, it is not her fault!

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