Did you know that the average Brussels resident wastes 16kg of proper food per year? This staggering amount makes households the biggest source of food waste. Such waste is hurting not only our wallets but our planet as well. Growing, processing, transporting, and disposing food that never gets eaten are all resource-intensive activities which cost society and the environment.
Fortunately, there are many things we can do to mitigate this problem and we’ve made a list here for you. Maybe you would even realize that reducing food waste is much easier than you thought.
1 – Plan ahead
Think about what you will cook this week and what ingredients you need. Make a list before going out to the market. That way, you won’t pick up random stuff that you won’t be using.
2 – Shop small
Try to make weekly trips to the market rather than monthly. You get to eat fresher products and won’t be stockpiling.
3 – Prioritize
Use ingredients that spoil quickly first.
4 – Don’t buy more than you can eat
Discounts can often be tempting but be realistic on whether or not you will actually eat everything you buy.
5 – Don’t over prepare
Adjust recipes to match the number of servings you actually need.
6 – Take leftovers home
If you didn’t finish your meal at a restaurant, ask if you can take the leftovers home. Also, be sure to eat them; don’t bring them back just to throw them away.
7 – Preserve your food before they turn bad
For example, turn basil into pesto, vegetables into pickles, or fruits into jam.
8 – Use the freezer
Store your fresh goods properly to extend their life. Fruits, vegetables, herbs, sliced bread, yogurt, milk, and cheese can be frozen!
9 – Share the extras
With family, friends, or even better, with those in need. Try using these food sharing and food management apps. You could also help non-profit organizations, such as Serve the City Brussels, collect and redistribute food to people in need.
Sustainable practices aren’t difficult. It just takes a conscious effort! Often times the hardest part is getting started, but once you get going, it becomes second nature to you!