It’s shocking how much food we throw away because it goes bad in the fridge. Aside from wasting money, it’s just plain wasteful, given how many people go hungry.
One of our New Year’s resolutions was to stop wasting food. We looked at exactly what we were throwing out a week later, and figured out how to use it within a day or two. Here’s the plan we devised:
• Cooked Vegetables: All leftover vegetables go into an omelet or scramble for the next day’s breakfast or dinner.
• Proteins: Meat and fish leftovers too meager for a sandwich get added to the next day’s pasta or rice dish.
• Salad: We only dress half of the salad. If anyone wants more salad, it’s easy to dress and serve. Dressed salad turns into a soggy mess overnight; but washed, undressed salad stays crisp in paper towels and a plastic bag.
Leftover scraps go into omelets, pasta or rice.
• Berries: Berries are very perishable; ours often rot before they’re finished. If you simply can’t finish them on breakfast cereal or as a snack, stick them in the freezer and use them in a smoothie or a puree.
• Other Fresh Fruits & Vegetables: If they’re about to go bad and we don’t have the appetite to eat them, we slice and marinate them (use vinaigrette for veggies, liqueur for fruits) or quickly steam them. It buys another couple of days. Steamed fruit and veggies can be turned into purées or soup. Vegetables can be topped with sauce and grated cheese for a snack or side.
• Bonus: Chicken carcasses, meat and fish bones get converted into stock. Though we’ve often made excuses for not making stock (no time top make it, no place to store it), we find that if we start the stock as we’re cleaning up from dinner, it “makes itself.” And we don’t store it because we plan to use it the next day.
Think of how you waste food and write down—then follow—your own tips to stop it. If you need ideas, let us know.
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