Tips To Prevent Food Wastage
World Food Day is celebrated on 16th October every year. Food, through its diversity, connects us all in more ways than one. While we celebrate the different types of cuisines that exist around the globe on World Food Day, there is also a crisis that we all face - food wastage. Food wastage is a huge problem not only in India but in various other countries as well. Not only does it cost your money, but ends up in a landfill, producing the harmful gas methane as it decays. Wastage of food is environmentally as well as economically risky. Wastage of food leads to food shortage and that can result in many people going hungry and sleeping on an empty stomach.
Before our country faces such an adverse situation, it is our responsibility to learn how to avoid wastage of food at our end. On the occasion of World Food Day, let us have a look at some of the useful tips to prevent food wastage-
Make A Shopping List
Most people tend to buy more than they need or can consume when grocery shopping. Though buying in bulk has several benefits and is convenient, it is also a major reason behind food wastage. To reduce food waste at home, it is advisable to make frequent trips to the grocery store every few days. Also, make a shopping list to control yourself from buying unnecessary items. It is one of the most important tips to prevent food wastage. We should make it a point to consume all the groceries purchased during the last grocery trip by proper menu planning before buying more.
Eating Leftovers The Next Day
Eating leftovers doesn’t have to be boring. Give your leftovers a fresh twist by transforming them into delicious dishes! Eating leftovers is one of the most useful ways in the guide to how to minimise food wastage. Leftovers can be easily made into a salad, sandwich, wrap or a roll and enjoyed. You can also add a few other ingredients to this to amp it up. If you happen to cook a lot of food regularly, designate a day to use that up to reduce food waste at home. Eating leftovers is one of the most beneficial tips to prevent food wastage.
Utilise Fruits And Vegetables Aptly
It seldom happens that fruits and vegetables lying at home can turn soggy. The good thing about this is that even when soggy, fruits and vegetables can be utilised. To reduce food waste at home, you can whip up a quick smoothie or shakes out of the soggy fruits. Wilting vegetables can be used in healthy soups or can be baked as well. This is one of the most helpful tips to prevent food wastage and utilising the raw material to its maximum.
Store Food Correctly
Storing food correctly is the first step in the guide to how to minimise food wastage. Since maximum food items are stored in the refrigerator, it is essential to keep an eye on its temperature. To maintain the freshness of the food items and reduce food waste at home, an ideal healthy temperature between 1 to 5 degrees should be maintained. Proper preservation of food is the first step to minimise food wastage. Store food correctly in their designated storage place to extend shelf life.
Follow The ‘First In, First Out’ Rule
As soon as you are done with grocery shopping, play smart and practise this tip to prevent food wastage. While unpacking grocery items, move the older products in the front and place the recently bought items to the back of your pantry or fridge. ‘First In, First Out’ A.K.A FIFO is an important step to reduce food waste at home.
Consume The Skin Of Fruits, Vegetables Or Meat
People often peel off the skin of fruits, vegetables and chicken before preparing meals. To reduce food waste at home, you can opt to eat these with their skin or use their skin for some other useful purposes. The skin of fruits, vegetables and chicken contains many nutrients essential for the human body. Follow this tip to prevent food wastage and also consume a wholesome meal. The skin of fruits can be used to make marmalades or jams and vegetables can be cooked with their skin for maximum benefits.
Take Cues From Food Preservation Methods
Preservation of food the right way is an important tip to prevent food wastage. The art of food preservation is ages old in Indian culture and has evolved as a creative method of changing flavour and texture. Food preservation methods serve as a unique way to reduce food waste at home. It can be done in different ways as mentioned below-
1. Fermentation: It is a food preservation method that conserves the highest amount of nutrients in a fruit or vegetable. For fermentation, a food product is sealed along with a starter culture, like salt or whey. Fermented food contains high amounts of probiotics and are the easiest to digest.
2. Freezing: Preservation of food through freezing is a modern technique. This process slows down the process of decomposition by turning water into ice crystals, which in turn freezes bacteria.
3. Drying / Dehydration: This food preservation method means drying all the water present in fruit, vegetable, or meat, therefore eliminating the presence of bacteria and mould. Mango, strawberry, banana and apple are great fruits for drying and storing.
4. Canning: Preservation of food through canning can be done in tin cans or glass jars. This procedure involves cooking the food you’d like to preserve, sealing it, then boiling the container to sterilize any remaining bacteria inside.
5. Vinegar Pickling: Vinegar pickling is a food preservation method that can be done with any kind of fruit, vegetable or even meat! Vinegar is an antimicrobial agent and bacteria cannot survive in it, preserving the food for a longer period of time. Turning cucumbers into pickles is the best example of vinegar pickling.
It is our responsibility to be mindful of our usage of food and minimise its wastage. On World Food Day, let us all try and adapt the above-mentioned tips to prevent food wastage.