Wasting Away

It’s shameful – a whopping 40% of food produced and sold in Canada is wasted. Of that, over half is wasted at home. In dollars, that translates to an average of $1200 in wasted food per year, in each and every Canadian household. That news is pretty hard to swallow!

To avoid food going to waste in your own home, follow these simple rules:
          Take only what you need. Purchase only as much fresh food as your family can consume over the course of a week, or have a plan to freeze preserve the excess. Sure, 30 yogurts for $3 sounds like a great deal, but are you really going to eat them all? Which brings me to…
          Watch those best before dates! Unless you plan to eat it right away, short-dated product often isn’t worth bringing home. (And, don’t forget, best before dates refer to unopened product.) Once opened, quality and freshness can deteriorate rapidly. I’m looking at you, grated cheese.
          Store food properly to maximize freshness. Only condiments and canned beverages live in the door of our fridge, where it is slightly warmer than the interior. In the crisper, I use breathable “veggie bags” to protect produce and to keep mold and soft-spots from forming.
And, if things are getting dodgy, look for recipes that make use of fruits and vegetables that are on the edge. My friend KK calls these  “Verge Veggies”.  Less than pretty produce can be given one last shot in soups, stews, smoothies, sauces and quick breads. Tip: I peel, core, slice and freeze apples in zip-top bags to make “instant” applesauce and to have on hand for pies and crisps.

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