According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, food waste is estimated to make up between 30-40% of the total food supply, and most of it ends up in landfills. That’s a daunting number for sure, and it happens all along the supply chain.
Here are some easy tips for at least limiting the number of sad bunches of parsley that end up in the trash.
- Prep after shopping: This can be as simple as washing and properly storing fresh produce so that lettuce stays crisp and herbs won’t wilt as quickly. You can cut up and portion items for easier snacking or to simplify dinner prep. Consider pre-slicing peppers or breaking down a head of cauliflower or broccoli into florets.
- Shop smart: Think about what meals you’re likely to make during the week and plan accordingly. Make a list — it helps cut down on duplicate purchases.
- Label everything: Add a description and include the date. Use items closer to their expiration date first before buying or opening something new.
- Plan meals: That can mean a fully drawn-out plan for the week, or a rough idea. Pay attention to how long certain items last — for example, use salad greens sooner than hardier ones.
- Make use of leftovers and holdouts: Have a night of leftovers during the week, whether it’s a mix and match of meals or components. Use odds and ends like cooked grains and proteins or wilted kale in a soup or stew. Incorporate overripe fruit into breads or smoothies.