Are you finding yourself spending a lot more time in the kitchen these days? There are so many easy ways to reduce waste in the kitchen while sheltering-in-place:
  • Shop your own pantry and fridge first - Most of us have a lot of food we didn't even know we had, and this is a great time to do a thorough clean-out of your cabinets and refrigerator drawers! Get creative to use up what you have - you can search for recipes by ingredient online.  8095766274?profile=original
  • Reusable bag dilemma - Although many grocery stores currently do not allow customers to bring in reusable bags, some places will let you pack your own purchased food into your resuable bags if you do it yourself and keep the bags inside your cart (and not placed on the conveyor belt or bagging area). Alternatively, you could just place your purchased items directly back into your shopping cart, and then wheel that out to your car or bike to pack.
  • The freezer is your friend! - If you can't eat it immediately, you can toss most foods, including produce, in the freezer to save it for later. Here are some great tips on how exactly to do this! The fridge is also your friend - if you have fruit sitting on your counter that is starting to get soft, placing it in the fridge will slow down the ripening process. This works great for avocados too!
  • Proper food storage will prolong its life - You may be storing your produce all wrong! Did you know strawberries last so much longer in the fridge if you store them in a plastic tupperware container with paper towels layered throughout (that you can reuse!). Learn more fantastic tips here8095761674?profile=original
  • "Best By" dates - These dates indicate when the food is at it's best or peak, but it does not indicate anything about food safety. In the US, baby formula is the only product with regulated expiration dates. Use your senses (especially smell!) to determine if something might still be safe to eat, and check online for info about specific items. For example, you can test if an egg is safe to eat, if it sinks, rather than floats, in a glass of water. 
  • "Eat Me First" bin - Designate a box or bin both in your fridge, and in your pantry, to keep items that need to be used up soon, at the forefront of your mind. 
  • Cooking with leftovers and scraps - Veggie scraps can be saved, frozen, and utilized later for a soup stock. Leftovers can be incorporated into new dishes, like a stir-fry, salad, or as a pizza topping depending on the food. Check out some great ideas here. 8095766490?profile=original
  • Restaurant take-out waste - Please support our local small businesses during this time, especially the hard-hit restaurant industry! It's hard to get around the take-out container packaging, but you can let them know when you (or the delivery app) are picking up your food, that they do not need to pack the disposable plastic utensils or condiment packages in your order, since you are going to be eating at home where you have lots of utensils. 
  • Compost those remaining food scraps! - Check with your local city and garbage company to see if they accept food scraps in the green cart (if you have one) for municipal composting. If you have a yard or balcony, setting up your own compost or vermiculture (worm) bin is very easy - just make sure to only put fruit & veggie scraps, egg shells, and coffee grounds into your own composting system.
Reducing food waste is one of the leading solutions to climate change, and it's something that we can all do, right now at home without new technology or buying a thing. Happy snacking and cooking!

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