We made a small jar of this with 5 apples that were overripening.
Reducing Food Waste
Most people don’t realize how much food they throw away every day — from uneaten leftovers to spoiled produce. The EPA estimates that in 2018, about 68 percent of the wasted food we generated — or about 42.8 million tons — ended up in landfills or combustion facilities. By managing food sustainably and reducing waste, we can help businesses and consumers save, provide a bridge in our communities for those who are not well-fed, and conserve resources for future generations.
I believe that God calls us to be responsible stewards of the resources He gives us.
Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?Luke 16:10-12
Ultimately, everything we “have” in this life really belongs to God. Our responsibility is to our Master in everything we do… so what we are given dominion over, we should steward to the best of our abilities! We had dinner with my friend’s family & her mom was talking about how she would help her friend pick & can hundreds of pounds of fruit. She gave us some apple sauce to take with us 🙂
Benefits of Reducing Food Waste
- Decreases spend with less food buying.
- Reduces methane emissions from landfills and lowers your carbon footprint.
- Conserves energy and resources, preventing pollution involved in the growing, manufacturing, transporting, and selling food (not to mention hauling the food waste and then landfilling it).
- Supports your community by providing donated untouched food that would have otherwise gone to waste to those who might not have a steady food supply.
Ways to Reduce Wasted Food
Planning, prepping, and storing food can help your household waste less food. Below are some tips to help you do just that:
By simply making a list with weekly meals in mind, you can save money and time and eat healthier food. If you buy no more than what you expect to use, you will be more likely to keep it fresh and use it all.
- Keep a running list of meals and their ingredients that your household already enjoys. That way, you can easily choose, shop for and prepare meals.
- Make your shopping list based on how many meals you’ll eat at home. Will you eat out this week? How often?
- Plan your meals for the week before you go shopping and buy only the things needed for those meals.
- Include quantities on your shopping list noting how many meals you’ll make with each item to avoid overbuying. For example: salad greens – enough for two lunches.
- Look in your refrigerator and cupboards first to avoid buying food you already have, make a list each week of what needs to be used up and plan upcoming meals around it.
- Buy only what you need and will use. Buying in bulk only saves money if you are able to use the food before it spoils.
It is easy to overbuy or forget about fresh fruits and vegetables. Store fruits and vegetables for maximum freshness; they’ll taste better and last longer, helping you to eat more of them.
- Find out how to store fruits and vegetables so they stay fresh longer inside or outside your refrigerator.
- Freeze, preserve, or can surplus fruits and vegetables – especially abundant seasonal produce.
- Many fruits give off natural gases as they ripen, making other nearby produce spoil faster. Store bananas, apples, and tomatoes by themselves, and store fruits and vegetables in different bins.
- Wait to wash berries until you want to eat them to prevent mold.
- If you like to eat fruit at room temperature, but it should be stored in the refrigerator for maximum freshness, take what you’ll eat for the day out of the refrigerator in the morning.
Prepare perishable foods soon after shopping. It will be easier to whip up meals or snacks later in the week, saving time, effort, and money.
- When you get home from the store, take the time to wash, dry, chop, dice, slice, and place your fresh food items in clear storage containers for snacks and easy cooking.
- Befriend your freezer and visit it often. For example,
- Freeze food such as bread, sliced fruit, or meat that you know you won’t be able to eat in time.
- Cut your time in the kitchen by preparing and freezing meals ahead of time.
- Prepare and cook perishable items, then freeze them for use throughout the month.
- For example, bake and freeze chicken breasts or fry and freeze taco meat.
Be mindful of old ingredients and leftovers you need to use up. You will waste less and may even find a new favorite dish. This is where you can get creative 🙂
- Shop in your refrigerator first! Cook or eat what you already have at home before buying more. Transform dishes if you want!
- Have produce that’s past its prime? It may still be fine for cooking. Think soups, casseroles, stir fries, sauces, baked goods, pancakes or smoothies.
- If safe and healthy, use the edible parts of food that you normally do not eat. For example, stale bread can be used to make croutons, beet tops can be sautéed for a delicious side dish, and vegetable scraps can be made into stock.
- Learn the difference between “sell-by,” “use-by,” “best-by,” and expiration dates.
- Are you likely to have leftovers from any of your meals? Plan an “eat the leftovers” night each week.
- Casseroles, stir-fries, frittatas, soups, and smoothies are great ways to use leftovers too. Search for websites that provide suggestions for using leftover ingredients.
- At restaurants, order only what you can finish by asking about portion sizes and be aware of side dishes included with entrees. Take home the leftovers and keep them for or to make your next meal.
- At all-you-can-eat buffets, take only what you can eat.
Recipe: Cinnamon Apple
This recipe was adapted from a few recipes – linked below! It came about because my friend had some apples that were starting to get a little too ripe. You can tell from an apple’s skin, as it will start to wrinkle to the touch. I peeled off the skins and made this dish to top our dessert for tonight (creme brulee)!
- Cinnamon (ground & sticks)
- Lemon Juice
- Peel & chop the apples.
- Mix in cinnamon, lemon juice, and salt. Stir together.
- Cook in a pot on medium-high with 2 tablespoons of butter.
- Cover and simmer on medium-low for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- When the apples are soft, remove from heat. Enjoy warm or save for later!
Use this as a topping for ice cream, creme brulee, or yogurt!