For whatever reason, it is extremely difficult to consume all of the food we buy on a regular basis. According to the National Resource Defense Council, Americans waste approximately 40% of the food we buy, but why?
There are a variety of reasons, from overconsumption to just forgetting what we bought. Over time, things get pushed to the back of your fridge and two weeks later you're throwing out pounds of rotting food because you just couldn't see it. Out of sight out of mind, right?
While there is no quick fix to this problem as a whole, here are some helpful tips to eliminate unnecessary food waste:
1. Put wilting veggies in the freezer.
As soon as you notice your vegetables wilting, throw them in a plastic bag and put them in the freezer to add to a smoothie later.
2. Turn stale bread into croutons or breadcrumbs.
To make croutons, cut the bread into cubes and sprinkle it with whatever you desire; olive oil, salt, pepper, and some herbs usually work the best. Then just pop them in the oven and broil them until they are golden brown and crispy. For breadcrumbs, simply grind the bread and use it to coat anything from baked chicken to arancini.
3. Preserve citrus rinds in water and salt for flavor.
Just because you don’t want to eat citrus rinds straight off the tree like you do the rest of the fruit, that doesn’t mean they belong in the garbage. Place them in a jar with water and salt and let that ferment for a couple weeks. Afterwards, they can be added to any recipe to give it a zesty, citrus flavor.
4. Roast leftover potato skins into chips.
Just like the citrus rinds, potato skins can always be salvaged. After peeling your spuds, throw some olive oil, salt, and pepper on them and spread them evenly on a baking sheet. Roast them in an oven on 425 and presto! You have crispy healthy chips perfect for a quick snack.
5. Buy a lot of your favorite bread when it goes on sale and put it in the freezer until you’re ready to use it.
When your favorite loafs go on sale, throw a few in the freezer until you’re ready to use each one. They will stay fresh for 2-3 months and will taste brand new when they defrost.