Jan 22

9 Ways To Reduce Food Waste

Did you know that uneaten food makes up almost 25%(?!?) of our landfills? As of 2012, 40% of food in the U.S. goes uneaten, which equates to throwing out the equivalent of $165 billion each year.

I am not at all okay with this information, so I’m sharing ways to reduce food waste with you today!

9 Ways To Reduce Food Waste

9 Ways To Reduce Food Waste | @fairyburger

Repurpose leftovers into another recipe.

For instance, I used the guacamole that I made to make guacamole crostini. You can also make Guacamole Toast!

Made too much? Share with others!

As you might know from my former med school potluck group, I love and adore potlucks. What better way to get food eaten (and whilst sharing it in good company)!

Compost food scraps.

I realize this isn’t entirely feasible for everyone (for instance, I live in an apartment complex right now and am pretty sure my neighbors wouldn’t appreciate it if I started a compost pile in the parking area. I kindasorta learned how to compost when I was volunteering at a homeless shelter back in 2005, so I’m hoping to do that once I have my own place forreal!

Feed leftover-leftovers to chickens.

I know not everyone has chickens, but if you do (or know anyone who does), this is an awesome way to get rid of foods that are still edible but not really repurpose-able! They’ll love you for it! 😛

 Zest citrus fruits + freeze in small baggies before tossing the peel.

You can use the zest in a variety of different dishes, and you can also use tangerine peels to make 陈皮 (dried tangerine peel), which is a key ingredient in lots of Chinese dishes (e.g. Tangerine Beef)!

Cook with friends!

This way, you can make multiple dishes and have more variety in your weekly meals…while halving the work! Win-win! (For instance, these are all the foods my best friend and I have made together over the years!)

Save veggie scraps and/or chicken carcass for stocks.

I’ve been meaning to make my own chicken and/or veggie broth, so stay tuned for a future recipe! :]

Plan your meals.

If you already know what you’re having, what you need, what you have an excess of (etc.), hopefully that’ll mean none of it will go to waste!

Give the “ugly” fruits/veggies a chance!

Aside from my tendency to make a beeline for the bargain bin with the non-aesthetically-pleasing produce, I also wanted to share a couple awesome companies I found. (Not a sponsored post, but I like what they’re doing! :] )

I discovered Misfit Juicery at Expo East last year and got to speak with the founder/CEO on how they began! He and his best friend basically started this off with a box of “ugly” peaches + a borrowed blender from a family his friend babysat for and came up with these concoctions in their college kitchen. (I can totally relate–does anyone remember the time I brought home a box of 45 peaches for $10?)

I love their juice names too (e.g. All Kale Breaks Loose, Pear To The People)–S.C.R.E.A.M. (Strawberries + Cash Rule Everything Around Me) is my favorite though! They currently distribute in DC + NYC and I’m hoping they’ll expand to NJ soon! 😛

Misfit Juice

They use “ugly” fruit that doesn’t fit the aesthetic qualities of US grocers and turn em’ into cold-pressed juice! The juice pulp gets sent to compost, although they’re currently working on hopefully developing a snack product with em’ soon! (I also love that they don’t promote this as a detox/cleanse, which I do not believe in. Your liver + kidneys exist for a reason! Take care of them and they’ll take care of you!)

I also recently found out about Imperfect Produce from Erica! They operate on a similar philosophy and sell “ugly” produce at 30-50% less than grocery story prices, delivered to your door! Their options include organic, fruit-only, vegetable-only, and mixed, in a variety of different box sizes.

For now, they deliver to the SF Bay Area, Los Angeles, Orange County, Portland, Seattle, and Chicago, so I unfortunately cannot partake in this, but fear not! I told two friends about em’ and they both signed up!

Imperfect Produce

11-13 pounds of fruits/veggies for $14 shipped–as my friend said, the produce doesn’t even look ugly (see above, minus 1 apple!)!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.fairyburger.com/9-ways-to-reduce-food-waste/



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  1. Deborah Brooks

    I have really been trying to reduce food waste at our house this past year. I feel so badly that we end up throwing away a lot of stuff
    Deborah Brooks recently posted…Southwestern Avocado Egg SaladMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      Me too! It happens to me most often with fresh vegetables since I can’t eat them quickly enough (noooo!) so I’ve switched over to mostly frozen.

      1. Mary Beth Elderton

        Great tips! I do make my own stocks/broths. I also use a lot of frozen vegetables–just take out a handful for what we need, the rest stays in the freezer. It seems harder now that we are emptynesters. When I had boys at home there was much less wasted food lol

        1. Farrah

          Thanks so much, Mary Beth! :] I can definitely see how there’d be much less wasted food then! 😛 I can eat a lot, but I have trouble finishing fresh produce when I buy it in bulk since I keep trying to ration it, haha. :[ Thank goodness for freezers!
          Farrah recently posted…9 Ways To Reduce Food WasteMy Profile

  2. Alex

    These are great tips! I found I was throwing out fruit or veggies that I bought and never got around to using before they went bad. I’ve decided to take an extra stop to the grocery store instead of trying to just do it once a week!

    1. Farrah

      That’s happened to me as well, unfortunately. :'( That’s a good idea to space out the shopping! I took to getting more frozen fruits/veggies, hehe.
      Farrah recently posted…9 Ways To Reduce Food WasteMy Profile

  3. Julie @ Running in a Skirt

    This is such a good post. I hate wasting food too… such good ideas to help. I freeze a lot!

    1. Farrah

      Me too! :[ I definitely switched over to freezing a lot of things and that’s helped a lot!
      Farrah recently posted…9 Ways To Reduce Food WasteMy Profile

  4. Kelli @ Hungry Hobby

    Love these tips!
    Kelli @ Hungry Hobby recently posted…Original & Chocolate Coconut Flour WafflesMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      Thanks, Kelli! :]!

  5. Kaylin

    This is such an important issue that needs to be addressed more often. It makes me happy when I see that restaurants participate in local organizations’ collection of food that has either gone to waste or will be thrown out soon so that they can feed homeless shelters or repurpose the food in other ways. We have a composter in our backyard and now we so much of our food scraps in there! It’s incredible how much it’s cut down on our trash production.

    1. Farrah

      Same!! It makes me so happy when I see restaurants that do that (it makes it more likely for me to go there too, haha 😀 ). That’s awesome that you have a composter! Wherever it is that I end up going, I hope I can get my own place at some point–I’ve been wanting to get a composter too!
      Farrah recently posted…9 Ways To Reduce Food WasteMy Profile

  6. Mary

    I did know food waste is a serious issue, which makes me feel horrible whenever I don’t finish my food or when I over-order at a restaurant. Coming back from Africa I feel even worst about wasting food. Thank you for these tips, Farrah, you are the best 🙂 I also love ugly fruit, I wanted you to know that. lol
    Mary recently posted…Challenge MondayMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      Same! I always take back my leftovers so I can repurpose it into another meal!

      I’m glad I’m not the only one! Their prices are so much nicer too! 😛
      Farrah recently posted…9 Ways To Reduce Food WasteMy Profile

  7. Hannah

    I’ve definitely seen uglier produce than that at my grocery stores?

    I always try to throw vegetables in the freezer when I know I won’t be able to use them before they go bad. The problem is most of the time I literally just throw them in there whole…which isn’t very helpful when I want something chopped and it’s frozen solid!
    Hannah recently posted…Off the rails: week in reviewMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      I feel like I have too! The produce looked fine to me, haha.

      Ah, I’m with you there! If you have some extra time, I’ve found it helpful to chop it up before throwing it into the freezer so it’ll be ready-made when I need to use it! *-*
      Farrah recently posted…9 Ways To Reduce Food WasteMy Profile

  8. GiGi Eats

    I never buy more than I know I will eat – and what I mean by this is… I never really VENTURE OUT when it comes to types of foods because I fear that I won’t necessarily like them, thus I will waste them and I HATEEEEE wasted food. I guarantee there will be NO wasted SALMON, SPINACH or SWEET POTATOES in this household! lol
    GiGi Eats recently posted…“Can Ya”… Keep Up With Our Kenya Safari? Part One Of Our TripMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      hahaha, that works well though–you know it can’t go to waste because you know you’ll love the food you order! (Also, we love all the same foods! <3 No salmon will go to waste under my roof!! 😛 )
      Farrah recently posted…9 Ways To Reduce Food WasteMy Profile

  9. Tiffany @ The Chi-Athlete

    FOR REAL. I feel like Harry and I are pretty good about not wasting food, but saving scraps for our friends’ chickens sounds extra doable.

    And oh HEY, I’m in the CHI! I’m going to check it out!
    Tiffany @ The Chi-Athlete recently posted…I Spy on Windy and a Race PictureMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      Yay for chickens!!! I really want some of my own someday! <3

      And ah, I'm so jealous, haha. Let me know how they are if you try it out! I wanted to join a CSA here since they don't deliver out here but I can't ever make the pick-up days. :[

  10. Rachel

    I LOVE CHICKENS!!! I keep begging my husband to let us have chickens. Hahaha. I need him to build the coop otherwise I would just bring them home myself. 😉
    Rachel recently posted…The Importance of Foot Strength for RunnersMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      Aww, I hope he agrees/decides to build it!! :D!! I want that as well, hahaha. Somedayyyy! <3
      Farrah recently posted…Chili Honey Roasted Brussels SproutsMy Profile

  11. Rachel G

    Repurposing leftovers really is a great way to make sure they don’t go to waste! Of course, soups are a great option, because the possibilities of throwing stuff together and calling it “soup” are pretty much endless. 😛 Also, sometimes ridiculously tasty. We had a bunch of leftover baked pumpkin the other day and I made it into a cream of pumpkin soup that was downright amazing. Leftover mashed potatoes I’ll usually mix with eggs and make into some kind of weird version of latkes (potato pancakes) that are also one of my greatest weaknesses. Also, just being aware of what’s in your fridge and what needs to be used by when helps–probably one of the biggest culprits in food waste is forgetfulness, people forgetting to check the drawers in their fridge to see what fruits and veggies they have!
    Rachel G recently posted…Minimalist Nursery TourMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      I’m definitely with you on that! I love how versatile soups are as well! 😛 That cream of pumpkin soup sounds so good! *-* And you can never go wrong with potato pancakes, haha.

      I’ve definitely fallen victim to that, but I’ve been trying to be more aware of it so I can decrease waste (and finish everything in my kitchen/pantry)!
      Farrah recently posted…Ultimate Coffee Date: February 2018My Profile

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