#HaltonWasteChallenge Weekly! Week 6: Reduce food waste through meal planning

Hello Friends of Halton Green Screens,

Here is the long overdue week 6 post. I am no longer writing in order – this is my most recent challenge to myself, but after attending the Halton Food Council’s food waste symposium earlier this week I couldn’t wait to share this relatively simple way to reduce food waste.

Since being back at work, eating delicious, healthy meals (and more importantly, feeding the baby delicious, healthy meals) has been challenging. I did my best to stay stocked up in healthy fruits and veggies, but the busier I’ve been the more likely I was to forget about something and throw away its rotten remains.

Neelan and I decided we needed better meal planning. We chose this one mostly out of necessity to help us eat better, but it has the happy side effect of reducing food waste. We put off trying it for over a month because the planning itself seemed like a daunting task, but then I remembered a handy little cookbook I have called “Vegan Cooking For One”. The author lays out the recipes by week, separated by season to help you buy local, and at the beginning of each week it gives you a shopping list. You also need to keep a well-stocked pantry for many items that last longer. I just double up on the shopping list to cover the three of us, then each day I make the recipe it says.

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It even gives handy tips like, “if making the whole week’s recipes, double up on the rice and put half in the fridge for later in the week.” We are almost done the first week of it, and we have saved money while eating better! I don’t know of any other cookbooks like this, but you can also find free meal plans online that should do the same thing.

A few other easy things we can do to reduce the amount of food we throw away are:

  • Remove bad parts of produce before storing, to avoid contaminating it all
  • Keep fridge clean and not over-stuffed. It’s easy to forget stuff in a full fridge
  • Don’t shop on an empty stomach!

I’d love to hear how you reduce food waste, or what you find are your biggest sources of food waste! Comment below, or on social media:

 

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