It’s a smart idea to prevent food waste during the coronavirus, now more than ever. Much of our energy today goes into avoiding catching the virus and conserving money in every area. If you’ve already cancelled your subscriptions and eliminated non-essential expenses, now is the time to reduce food waste.
Luckily, there are currently no cases of COVID-19 spread through food. The COVID-19 crisis has opened our eyes to many things. The last two months have seen us panic buying, social distancing, and questioning the integrity of our supply chain. If you want to quell feelings of food insecurity, we have 6 tips to prevent food waste during the coronavirus.
Don’t buy more than you can consume
This refers mostly to perishable foods such as fresh meats and raw fruits and vegetables. While eating nutrient-dense meals is important now more than ever, you do not want to make the mistake of buying more than you can consume before it goes bad.
And be realistic. If you’ve never eaten eggplant or spaghetti squash, do you think you’re going to start now? You may want to experiment, but avoid purchasing novelty items in lieu if getting the right amount of food you know you are going to eat. Try to avoid panic buying and have faith that there will be supplies available the next time you need to shop.
Organize and clean your refrigerator
Cleaning and organizing your refrigerator can offer a few benefits. For one, a clean fridge can reduce contaminating your fresh foods and the spread of mold. Organizing it can enable you to see everything you have available before it spoils.
Stop allowing your yogurt and fresh vegetables to spoil just because you forget you had them. Organize like items in sections so it’s easy to keep an inventory of produce on hand. Designating a spot for every type of food you have available can allow you to quickly take stock without taking up a lot of time.
Freeze your food
If you want to prolong your cache of fresh fruit or vegetables, freeze them. While you may not be able to eat them in the same fashion as when they are fresh, you can certainly use them in a plethora of recipes. For example, you can freeze berries, bananas, corn and many others for later use.
Look up recipes for baked goods, soups, and casseroles. You can reserve the frozen produce for these types of dishes and use the fresh items for recipes that call for those.
If you like planning, you can cook or bake whole meals and freeze them. Save between two and three meals in the freeze to create a “stockpile” of heat-and-serve meals for convenience. Before you store anything in the freezer, research proper packing for prolonged preservation.
Make your bread last
You can easily avoid wasting bread by freezing the loaf and thawing a few slices at a time. Bread typically lasts longer if you keep it in the fridge, as opposed to on the counter.
Put stale bread in the oven with oil and spices to make croutons for salads, soups, and meatloaf.
Plan a weekly menu
This is where your extra effort from earlier comes in handy. If you have frozen meals in the freezer, it’s much easier to devise a weekly menu. It will take less time and help you to stick to it.
Doing this can also help you make most of your leftover food items. Chicken from one meal can be used in a salad or sandwich for the next day’s lunch.
You can use leftovers in soups, stews, and salad ingredients to ensure you remain within budget. Make the best of staying at home and do it with your family.
Keep an inventory
Make a list of fruits and vegetables on hand so you don’t forget to add that cucumber to a salad or use those avocados before they turn brown. Add meats to the list with expiration dates noted.
If you don’t feel like writing that all down, take a picture. This can help save electricity too because you’re not opening the fridge every five minutes to see what snacks are available.
Prevent Food Waste During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Don’t tolerate wasted food any longer. Let something positive come out of the coronavirus outbreak; a dedication to reducing food waste!
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What are some methods you use to prevent food waste during the coronavirus?