Too Good to Waste
As we prepare to celebrate all of our blessings big and small with friends and family this holiday season we often forget to show thanks to our environment as we celebrate. One easy way to incorporate thankfulness for our earth during Thanksgiving and every day is to be conscious of our consumption and often our overconsumption of goods. In America, 40% of produced food goes to waste. Along with the wasted food, the water, nutrients, time, labor and fuel that goes into the production are lost as well. Whether it's shopping for a big feast or weekly meal prep, planning can help you save food, save money and feel good about the resources you are using at the event you attend or host!
Plan and Shop Smart:
- Shop your fridge and pantry for ingredients. And build your menu/meal off of the basics you have.
- Make a list of all the ingredients for the meals or dishes you are planning. Look for recipes that call for the same ingredients to save on excess waste. Check out online resources for additional recipes to use up ends/scraps of food too!
- Use a party planning calculator to determine approximate portions and amounts you’ll need to feed your guests, and resist the temptation to overdo it.
- Stick to your list when you shop.
Soon after shopping, prep fresh foods. Bite-sized fruit and crudité is easier to grab as a snack. Cooking a healthy dinner and packing lunches each day is fast and fun when the ingredients are ready.
Get more from what you have. Place leftovers and food likely to spoil soon to the front of a shelf or designated “eat now” area. Freeze pre-portioned meals for easy work lunches or quick dinners. No idea how to use some of those leftover ingredients together? Try a free mobile app or website like Handpick or allrecipies.com to search for recipes using your ingredients. For tasty recipes using Thanksgiving dinner leftovers, try FoodNetwork.com or JamieOliver.com.
Give (Share) Smart:
Order too much, or just make too much food? Keep it out of the landfill by feeding those in need this holiday season. Thanks to the Good Samaritan Act of California, businesses, restaurants, and good faith donors can now donate unused food to local food banks, nonprofit organizations, or directly to individuals without liability.