Too often we find ourselves wondering what to do with the extra produce we bought – feeling guilty about that bread we never used; vegetables we bought last week that are still lying in the refrigerator; the leftover rice that you may have to throw away. It’s right to feel guilty because wasting food is just not okay.
Around one-third of the food produced in the world is never consumed which costs the world billions of dollars and yet there are a billion people starving in the world. Managing our food consumption habits better will not only help us feed the hungry, it will ensure food security for all of us.
Here are six ingenious ways we can minimise food waste:
1) Shop smart
Plan your meals before going shopping and buy only what you need. Sometimes a good deal on the beef or some other marketing tactic lures you into buying some ingredient that you may not be able to use immediately.
2) Use up stale bread
Toast stale bread and grind it in a food processor to make crumb. The bread crumb can then be used to coat fish or meat or even to top a fruit salad. Old bread is also ideal for making a delicious bread pudding.
3) Leftover rice
If you have leftover rice you can make rice croquettes with it; add herbs or cheese or even meat if you like. Day old rice is also excellent to make egg fried rice or kheer if you prefer.
4) Unused vegetables
Use any vegetables that haven’t been consumed to make pickle. Carrots, cabbage, onions, and cauliflower all love sitting in brines and pickle wonderfully. Another way to save vegetables is to chop them up and freeze them. If wrapped in aluminum foil or cling wrap carrots can last two to three weeks. Potatoes stored in a cool dark area can last longer than their average life. Here’s some more information about fruit and vegetable shelf life.
Coriander, Parsley, Mint, or whatever you have; make herb butter by mixing chopped up leftover herbs with butter softened to room temperature. Roll using a cling wrap and refrigerate. Herbs can also be frozen.
6) Eating out
Lastly, share whenever possible and request for smaller portions at restaurants.
Did you know?
The ‘Robin Hood army’ (RHA) is a group of people that use surplus restaurant food to feed the hungry in Pakistan as well as India. Their vision is to create self-sustained communities across cities, hence getting locals from a region to contribute to the less fortunate in their area.
The RHA currently serves 5000 people a night across Karachi, Lahore, Delhi NCR, Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Pune Jaipur and Jabalpur.
This film titled ‘ Just Eat It’ explains the point well.