Food Waste- Has that really gone bad?


I hear all the time from people that they never get around to cooking so they end up throwing away their groceries, this is sad on so many levels! To think of all those delicious ingredients that never even had a chance and when you realize how common food wasting has become as an issue in America.

The World Resource Institute reported that nearly one-third of all food produced worldwide gets wasted or lost in production, and in the US an average of 20 pounds of food per person gets wasted.

Here are a few tips on how you can reduce waste in your house and tell if it has really gone bad!

1) Plan out your Grocery Shopping trip

Having a plan before you get to the grocery store will not only save you time, but will help prevent you from wasting food as well. Pick out which meals you would like to cook for the week and list out the ingredients of each. Add any other essentials you may need and STICK to this list when you go to the store. So often, if you are shopping hungry or unprepared you are more likely to grab whatever looks good or you think might be fun to make, this can lead to an excess of food or items that you aren’t sure what to do with later on.

2) Have a “Cook Day”

Try to get a majority of your cooking or prep work done before the week starts. If it is easier to throw together for your dinner after you come home from work than you are more likely to use what you have purchased as opposed to decided to order take-out. This keeps the stress levels down and your health up!  If you don’t like the idea of prepping your meals days ahead then organize them together in the fridge, find a section of the fridge for all of the ingredients in Monday night’s meal to be stored together so that you can quickly pull them out. Or better yet, purchase small plastic bins or even use cardboard boxes to store all of the meals items in to keep them organized.

3) Find a new way to cook the ingredient

Just because your kale is starting to lose its green color and turn a little yellow does not mean it has to be thrown out. It won’t be as tasty fresh anymore but it would still work fine in a stew or sauteed. If your potatoes are growing little sprouts, just cut them out, it hasn’t “gone bad.” Many vegetables can be adjusted this way if they are still raw, however this obviously won’t translate over if the ingredient  is a meat or perishable item.

4) Find out what Expiration Dates really mean

Sometimes food lasts WAY longer than what is listed on the label. Dry goods can often keep for years in an airtight container stored correctly. If you want to look up how long the item is good for check out this great website www.StillTasty.com

5) Get Help

Still feeling overwhelmed? If you simply don’t have time, don’t know how, or don’t enjoy cooking than there are many healthy alternatives to keep for fridge stocked with meals that are going to get eaten. Stop wasting money on food getting thrown out and invest in delicious and nutritious meals for your family. Zen Eats is a great alternative to cooking that can provide you with personalized chef services, home meal delivery, and catering services. I often get told how switching over to Chef services has actually saved my clients money since they are no longer wasting food and eating out. Check out our Services page for more information and stop throwing your money in the trash bin 🙂