Clear Your Plate
Clearing your plate is an easy way to become "greener" in your kitchen. Research has shown that we waste up to one third of food produced for consumption.
At a recent Reuters Food and Agricultural Summit it was estimated that the average American throws away about 15kg of food per month. That is over 200kg a year - which is the size of a large Gorilla! All the food waste ends up at landfills, rotting and releasing harmful methane gasses into the air.
Remember when your Mom used to say "Finish everything on your plate - there's starving children"? Although you can't feed those children directly, by eating everything you cook or using all the food you buy you can prevent food wastage and save money.
Here's some tips to make you a more responsible shopper and cook:
- Only buy enough fresh produce to be used before it goes off.
- Buy food well within the sell-by-date, or plan to use it quickly.
- Use overripe fruit such as bananas in banana bread, muffins and smoothies.
- Go through your fridge after each shop and move the older products to the front so that they get used first.
- Check that your fridge is cold enough (between 1-5°C) to store food safely.
- Use your freezer - it's great for storing meat bought in bulk of freezing extra portions of meals.
Although we don't want to seem stingy and also don't want to starve the family, try and cook the right amounts so that there isn't food wastage, or if there are leftovers, see how to incorporate them into another meal. Some of my most innovative meals have come from leftovers!
So remember - clear your plate and you could be saving the planet!
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