My thoughts on food waste | How to limit food waste | Masterpost

Something i have noticed alot of online is the amount of food waste that is due to example different video ideas…. Such as making shoes out of sandwiches, making freak shakes which the people just throw away later because they become so inedible. Or just buying a bunch of food which just doesn’t seem to be eaten up, of couse I can never know… they may give the food away, but sometimes they say that the food has gone cold and they are just going to throw it away.

And it just all feels so unnecessary…. And of course there is nothing that one person, like myself, can do about it. Instead there just needs to be more awareness about food wastage and how unnecessary it is. Especially when it comes to things like just wasting food for the sake of a video.

There is food wastage everywhere and if I am honest the biggest problem is big companies such as food stores, restaurants, school, factories where the food is made. That is where the most food goes to waste. I work at a store and it is crazy how much food we throw away each DAY. I wrote a post about it HERE (along with some facts and thoughts about food wastage), if you want to check it out.

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But as individuals we can all do our best to try to limit our food wastage.

I have some meal ideas for limiting food wastage, HERE. & Some tips for what to do with food leftovers! & another post: what to do with leftovers

But I thought I would give some more tips on how to limit how much food you throw away.

Let’s start off with, that everyone has some foodwastage, it is hard not to end up with some food wastage each week or month.

Sometimes you buy food that is already moldy and there is no way to save it. Othertimes you don’t manage to eat the fresh produce fast enough before it turns to go off and mold. And othertimes there may be crosscontamination or the risk of bacteria on the food which means you have to throw it away… and othertimes maybe you burn the food, drop the food or anything else that means you can’t eat the food and have to throw it away.

However, we can all do our part to try to limit the amount of food we throw away, and the first step is:

Tips to limit food wastage:

Planning your groceries and meals so that you don’t buy an excess of fresh produce which you might not be able to eat throughout the week.

Buying frozen food can be a good way to both save money and stop food from going moldy before you manage to eat it. You can read more about the nutrition differences between fresh and frozen food (Hint, there isn’t a huge difference!). Post HERE.

By planning your meals you both save money buy also just buy the food you know you will eat so that you don’t have food just sitting in your fridge. Another option is that if you do cook an excess amount of food, then you can freeze it in for later.  That’s what I do whenever I cook too much of something and know that I may not want to eat only that food for the whole week. It is perfect for the days you don’t feel like, or don’t have time to cook!

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Get better at using up what you have at home before buying more. Sometimes you end up with just a tiny bit of rice or two potatoes, or barely a portion of pasta left and many people have the automatic response to just thor wthose away (from what I have noticed from friends or family). But don’t… instead get creative and making something out of those small remainders. Or…. You could just use that amount when cooking and not leave just a tiny bit left, hahah.

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Practical tips are: If you have a little coffee left, you can pour it into ice cubes and make frozen coffee later. The same goes with example fresh herbs/lemon/mint/lime, so that you can later add to water to make flavoured water.

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If you have a bunch of vegetable scraps left, turn then into your own vegetable broth.

Vegetable peels: You can even turn vegetable peels into chips.. but then just make sure you really scrub and clean then as they could have pesticides or soil on them which you don’t want to ingest in too high amounts. (Home made vegetable crisps: recipe)

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Fruit going bad? If you have left over bananas, slice them and freeze them. – The same goes for other fruit or berries… if they are beginning to go bad, just place them in the freezer to make smoothies later on. (Of course, this also means you have to have a food processer or blender to make the smoothies/nice cream.) Otherwise, if it is apples, pears, nectarines that are beginning to go bad, you can always bake them or fry them and add to oatmeal….. Or why not make a pie out of them if you have time and ingredients for it.

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Maybe you have a little cooked rice or roasted vegetables left which have gone dry…. Then you can refrey them (of course, you should be careful with rice as it is a risk that bacteria can grow in rice. So if you havenät eaten rice within 48 hours I would throw away… however if it was placed in the fridge right away and not left standing in room temperature it might be ok. But typically reheating, cooling and reheating rice over and over isn’t recommended).

How to save fresh salad in packages? I recently learned a tip that once you open a pacakge of fresh salad, example spinach in a plastic bag, take some householdpaper, fold it 2 times (to a little square) and place in the corner of the spinach bag… this will soak up the extra moisture and keep the spinach fresh!

Buying ingredients/food that doesn’t go bad – i.e limiting fresh produce if you don’t have time to eat them. Just buy the food you will eat… i.e if you know you won’t be eating the fruit or vegetables, don’t buy them… I know many who buy fresh produce just in the *hopes* of actually eating them because they have bought them, but week after week throw away the food anyway. Don’t be that person. Either eat the food, or don’t buy it.

Another tip to save food and limit waste is storing food correctly. If you store food in too high or too low temperatures it can make the food (fresh produce) go bad/rot quicker… so make sure to store the food correctly!

 

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Best before vs use by date?

Typically, you can still eat food after the best before date… it just means that the taste or texture *may* be a little off/different, not always… but it is still safe to eat. Just do the smell, look, taste test… your senses should be able to tell you whether it is still ok to eat or not 🙂 But you shouldn’t eat food after the use by date, as then it may not be safe to eat due to bacteria or other risks. Especially when it comes to meat.

Going out to eat? If you don’t finish your meal, ask for a goodie bag/take away. If you don’t want to finish the food at home anyway… ask for a takeaway bag and give to a homeless person (if possible).

Don’t waste aquafaba from canned chickpeas. I know it may seem silly, and i have to be honest, 50% of the time i just throw away this liquid as i know i won’t make anything with the aquafaba before it goes bad. But you can infact make quite alot with this liquid, RECIPES HERE. And i even have an upcoming recipe which is SUPER TASTY using aquafaba. So when you use chickpeas from a can, save that liquid and use the liquid in another dish… example works great in pancakes!

Got leftover bread? Freeze it. Otherwise… make your own bread crumbs or croutons or bread pudding or french toast casserole or if you have tortilla bread, make home made nachos.

Freeze in fresh herbs to use later in dishes. You can even grate the peel or orange, lemon, lime etc which you can later use in baked goods or other recipes. 

Or if you have garlic/chilli/ginger which is going bad, chop them up/grate and freeze in… makes it alot easier when you need them when cooking!

And finally…. food compost. I know not all households have the possibilty for this, but if you can…. do it! Sure, it may mean having to go compost the food every other day (or preferably less because *you don’t have so much food waste 😉 * , but it is much better for the planet!

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I know that the people who may need this post and reminder are the ones who most likely won’t be searching or reading this post…. but maybe to those of you who already are aware of minimizing food waste can remind others to do the same thing! 🙂 Even if we are just “One person”, it all adds up, and we can all make a small difference.

If everyone thought, “i am just one person, what does it matter”, then there would be no change happening in the world… because “just one person” adds up! 🙂

If you have any other tips to reduce food waste, or your thoughts regarding food waste, comment down below!!

Plastic Free July? | Tips & advice | privilege, practical, realistic?

It’s July, and i have noticed on social media there is a “campaign” talk about plastic free July.

I think it is great that we are bringing awareness about plastic and the need for everyone to decrease their use/consumption/buying of plastic. To use alternatives and to demand that products are packaged in other materials than plastic.

You can read more about plastic pollution crisis, HERE. I.e we all need to do something about this…. and if we as consumers show that we want products with less plastic and make active choices. For the sake of the climate and planet, but also for the animals as many animals and marine life are actually dying due to plastic pollution… but even our health is impacted due to the microplastics and BPA.

*This post contains affiliate links*

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I have written previous posts about plastic which may be interesting to read:
Aware but not obsessed? | Organic, plastic free, locally produced food?

Going plastic free – Realistic? Convenient? Practical?

Earth day 2018 – Plastic pollution & ways to minimize plastic use

Pre packaged and portion sized foods

Tips to minimize waste and plastic use

5 ways to minimize plastic use and help the environment

If i am honest, i am not someone who believes in 100% plastic free or zero waste. Even if i like the idea of it…. I just don’t think it is practical for anyone. Unfortunatly, our society uses plastic in SO MANY items… just like with being vegan, there seems to be animal products in almost everything. However, just because there is so much plastic doesn’t mean that it isn’t possible to make a change/difference and decrease your use of plastic.

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It just means some extra planning. You may also need to invest in things such as glass lunch boxes, Metal straws, reusable fresh produce bags, on the go coffee cups/thermos, glass jars,reusable utensils and the list goes on.

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You will also need to carry around an extra bag with you incase you need to buy something when you are out and don’t want to purchase a plastic bag. Of course, this is one of the simplest changes you can make… just buy a cheap cotton bag which you can always have in your bigger school/work/gym bag!

Bring your thermos/on the go coffee cup with you so that you don’t buy coffee out… but if you do have to buy coffee out, skip the plastic lid!

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I think it is great with the initiativ to decrease plastic use… how it is not always practical or possible for everyone.  There is plastic everywhere. And i am pretty sure i use and purchase items which contains plastic which i had no idea about.

But also …. going plastic free means you may need to invest in certain products/items before you can go fully plastic free. Not to mention, it may mean having to cut out ALOT OF different foods because they contain plastic. If i am honest… almost half the food i buy comes in some form of plastic packaging. When going plastic free you will most likely have to shop at stores which sell products that have very little or no plastic packaging… where you bring your own jars or use brown reusable bags to pack the fresh produce. However… alot of frozen food is then no longer an option. But frozen food (meaning frozen vegetables and fruit, not pizza and fries) which are often cheaper and last longer, arenät an option. But many people don’t actually eat up the fresh produce they buy and have to throw it away, meaning that it isn’t really better.

However… what you could do if you can afford it (and have the space in your freezer), is to buy big 1kg frozen vegetables instead of the small 200g/500g bags… because then you atleast minimize plastic in that way. 

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4 examples of plastic:

1 The lid and little inside “lid” in plantbased milks. (Note, cut the little “capsule/lid” when you thro them away so that wildlife don’t get caught in them/eat them)

2: Alot of the food i buy does have plastic… which i do want to become more aware of and limit – as i do have the possibility to do it at times.

3: Everything in that pesto came in a plastic pacakge… apart from the garlic

4: Eevn the glassfood boxes i bought came with plastic.

Also, you can’t forget that if someone is living on minimum wage the most important thing for them is to find some form of cheap food to be able to eat…. not whether it is plastic free, vegan or nutritious.

Going plastic free is a privelage in a sense… I live in Sweden and have the possibility as well as somewhat economical possibility to make choices. I can buy food in bulk and without plastic when possible. I can bring my own bag to the grocery store and invest in glasslunchboxes and metal staws. I can bring my own freshproduce bags and skip the plastic bag that is usually used when buying fruit and vegetables in bulk.

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I can choose between buying lentils in a cardboard package or plastic package. I can choose to not buy a food because it has lots of plastic packaging – because i know i can buy other food. I can take the time to walk/travel to another store just because they have more fresh produce which is loose/buy in bulk. Some months i can spend the extra money on making more plastic free choices. It is a privilige which not everyone has.

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However… i can’t avoid all plastic. It would not be possible for me to buy all my food plastic free. Not to mention, i take medication which i need daily that comes in/is packaged in plastic… there is no plastic free alternative.

I can of course make active choices when possible.

But what about disabled people… there are certain foods which may have extra packaging because it is easier for someone who is disabled.

I think when possible we should all try to limit plastic… example, does the product with a cardboard/nonplastic package cost 1dollar more than the option with plastic… then it is worth tat 1 dollar… according to me anyway.

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Can you skip the small portion packages of food and instead buy in bulk? Can you skip the Nescafe coffee capsules and instead use a coffee press/coffee beans? (in all honesty, i think these coffee capsules should be banned). Can you buy fresh produce in bulk using a paper bag or your own fresh produce bag? Can you buy the frozen berries in a cardboard pacakge instead of plastic pacakge? Can you skip the plastic lid when ordering coffee on the go?

 

Just because we can’t do something perfectly or can’t do it all… doesn’t mean we can’t try. Can’t go completely vegan? Well you can still eat as vegetarian as possible and not buy products with animals products (such as fur, leather, wool), as well as buying cruelty free. Can’t go completely plastic free? Well you can still decrease use of plastic when possible. Can’t go zero waste/minimalist? Well you can still try to limit waste and clutter when possible. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing, 0 or 100. We can just do our best and what is possible.

I also think it is important for us all to ask ourselves… do we not make these changes because we don’t want to or because we can’t? There is a difference. Many people don’t even try to limit plastic or try to eat more vegetarian because they don’t want to… even if they can. Whereas there are many who are in situations where they actually can’t make those choices but might want to.

So if you are in a situation where you actually can make choices and changes that are better for the climate, planet, animals… then i think you should. It doesn’t have to make a huge impact in your life, but may make a huge impact for the planet and climate if everyone made those small changes.

You can read more about plastic and plastic pollution in the links below:

Plastic pollution in numbers

The worlds plastic pollution criss explained  *highly recommend you read*

100 steps to a plastic free life

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Aluminium foil….what’s the big deal? |Health/environment impacts.

The past while i have had to use aluminium foil when baking or cooking. Or let me rephrase that: I ran out of baking paper and had aluminium foil at home so choose to use that instead of buying more baking paper, or investing in reusable baking mats.

I have then gotten several/quite a few messages telling me that using aluminium foil is bad. And i know it is…. but at the same time i don’t really. I have just heard it is not good, and i presume that it is because of the environmental impact and that you most often just use it once and then throw it away.

But i thought it was time that i finally sat down and researched, why aluminium foil isn’t good, and maybe that will make me invest in some reusable baking mats (which really aren’t expensive, so i don’t know why i don’t just buy them!).

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Fun fact before i get into this post. I have actually had an aluminium foil company quite adamentally message me about doing a cooperation and offering quite a huge sum of money for it….. but it hasn’t been something i have been willing to do a sponsored post about, hahaha.

So let’s get into the research and facts:

What is aluminium foil? “Aluminum foil, or tin foil, is a paper-thin, shiny sheet of aluminum metal. It’s made by rolling large slabs of aluminum until they are less than 0.2 mm thick.” (source)

Aluminium is found in small amounts in the air, soil, water and food as it is one of the most abundant metals on earth. Of course, how much you actually absorb varies – but is rather little and not deemed as a problem.

However, it seems that some of the aluminium in aluminium foil (or aluminium utensils) can leach into your food when cooking. Things like cooking at a higher teperature, cooking with acidic food and cooking with salt and spices increase the amount which can be absorbed/leached into the food. HOWEVER, it is still deemed safe by researchers to use aluminium foil – as it would be such tiny amounts that leach out. I.e the average use of aluminum foil is deemed as safe, and for normal healthy people their bodies can excrete the excess aluminium – if there is an excess.

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There seems to be speculation that aluminium could be linked to certain illnesses – but more research needs to be done to confirm a correlation.

There are certain ways you can avoid /minimize exposure to aluminum and that is:

  • Avoid high-heat cooking: Cook your foods at lower temperatures when possible.
  • Use less aluminum foil: Reduce your use of aluminum foil for cooking, especially if cooking with acidic foods, like tomatoes or lemons.
  • Use non-aluminum utensils: Use non-aluminum utensils to cook your food, such as glass or porcelain dishes and utensils.
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  • Using glass or porcelain when cooking can be a good option, and using reusable baking paper or parchment paper to wrap the food when possible.
  • If possible use recycled aluminium.

Also important, to not store food in their tins/cans once opened (something i do a little too often.)

What about aluminium and the environment?

“One ton of aluminum takes about 170 million BTUs to produce—about as much as 1,400 gallons of gasoline—and emits about 12 tons of greenhouse gases. It’s also very long-lasting, taking as much as 400 years to break down after it’s discarded (not to mention the fact that it’s heavier than other disposable wraps). All those factors contribute to the importance of recycling aluminum—something most of us do with cans, but for some reason fail to do with tinfoil. “ (source)

I must admit, i have never actually thought about recycling aluminum foil… and i don’t know why. But also, when i use tinfoil it always ends up all greasy and i have just thrown it in the trash. .But now i realise that may not be such a good thing to do.

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Is aluminium foil better than plastic?

To some extent yes, as it is reusable as well as doesn’t have BPA’s which can be found in plastic. From what i have read, neither are that great and it is better to go for other options such as glass jars or containers. It takes alot longer for plastic to deteriorate from our environment, so using aluminium foil would be better.

From my understanding of what i have read is that: No, aluminium foil may not be the best option but it is not the worst option either. And doesn’t have to be negative or lead to negative consequences – unless you were to maybe wrap your salted meat and tomatoes and grill them in high temperatures 3 times a day for 50years straight… then maybe there are health risks. But using it a few times a week there may not be any damaging health conseuqneces, not that research can show right now.

However, i would of course promote using other products instead, and my goal is to limit the amount of foil i use, primarily for the sake of the environment.

If anyone has any other tips or what to use instead of tinfoil, comment down below!

Food wastage | Facts & thoughts

When talking about sustainability food waste is one of the factors that needs to be considered.

There is alot of talk about not wasting food – which is super important. Not only do you save money by not throwing away food, it is better for the environment! However the biggest problem with food wastage is not in private households – it is in food stores, restaurants and food production. That is where hundreds of kilo food is thrown away daily. It is actually heartbreaking to think about the statistics of food wastage.

It is not sustainable. Throwing away food is wasting resources, and many times the food is still edible it is just that it can’t be sold. When it comes to meat and fresh food such as fruits and veggies, then it goes bad rather quickly and it is not edible so has to be thrown away. But it sickens me how much meat and dairy products are thrown away daily….  how animals are slaughetered and killed so that they can be eaten – but end up just being thrown away anyway. Animals killed for nothing. It breaks my heart just writing this post, but in a way i would rather that someone actually eats the meat/dairy rather than it being thrown away because that is not only a waste of life, but waste of resources. (However it would be much better – from all aspects if no animals were killed for food.)

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This weekend i was working in the bread section of the store (as well as with meat/fish). And each morning you throw away the bread and baked goods that are left over. I had this HUGE conflict inside of me when having to do this…. every part of my mind was thinking, this is not ok. To be throwing away maybe 10kg (or more) baked goods. And the only problem was that they were a day old…. otherwise completely edible. [I do have to note, that the store i work at does donate the left over bread and baked goods to a food charity several days a week, but not during the weekend].

There was nothing i could do but throw it all in a rubbish bag and throw it away. And the same with the meat and fish that had gone out of date. [And during the summer when i worked in the fruit section and dairy section, there was ALOT of fruit and veggies thrown away daily. Several kg or more.] Also… let’s not forget that food stores usually only sell the grade 1 fruits and veggies i.e cucumbers that aren’t straight or fruit and veggies that are slightly deformed (still completely natural) don’t even make it to the stores because they don’t “Look as good”. Usually these can be found in farmers markets though!

^This was just some of what i had to throw away ONE DAY. I was super conflicted and felt awful having to do it 😦 😦 😦 ^[Note, not actually allowed to have my mobile on me when working….. this could cause me problems, but hopefully not]

And this is just one store…. I can’t even estimate how many kilo food is thrown away each day from just one store. And times that by the amount of stores in just one city….. and in one country. It is insane. And then of course all the bakeries, cafes, restaurants, food companies…. 

Of course, most stores and food businesses do keep an eye on sales. And if a certain food or product isn’t selling so well or alot is being thrown away daily/weekly, then they will order less of the food to minimize food wastage – because it does cost the business to have to throw away food.

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Food wastage is everyones business and of course, if you can minimize your food wastage that is amazing. But if you end up throwing away from scraps from time to time, that is not the biggest problem. The biggest problem is all the big businesses that sell food in some form. It is a political and much higher problem that needs to be resolved and something needs to be done about this.

Earths resources are limited and at the rate that we are wasting food it is not sustainable. Not to mention that in the western world we are throwing away food in a rapid pace, while in other countries there are people starving. Infact, there are people starving and homeless in our own cities and countries and we throw away food like it is nothing – when instead we could feed the homeless in our own cities. But because of capitalism, businesses don’t want to give away food for free – if they did that, people would stop buying food. (Or so they think….. I don’t believe that. Even if businesses give away food to food charities, people will still always pay for food. But we should atleast try to help those that can’t afford to pay for food.)

 

10 facts about food wastage from foodtank.com

  1. 1.3 billion tons of food are wasted every year
  2. This amounts to US$1 trillion dollars of wasted or lost food
  3. If wasted food was a country, it would be the third largest producer of carbon dioxide in the world, after the United States and China
  4. Just one quarter of all wasted food could feed the 795 million undernourished people around the world who suffer from hunger
  5. Food waste in rich countries (222 million tons) is approximately equivalent to all of the food produced in Sub-Saharan Africa (230 million tons)
  6. A European or North American consumer wastes almost 100 kilograms of food annually, which is more than his or her weight (70 kilograms)
  7. A European or North American consumer wastes 15 times more food than a typical African consumer
  8. Lack of technology and infrastructure is the main cause of food waste in Africa, as opposed to household food waste in the developed world
  9. Food waste in Europe alone could feed 200 million hungry people
  10. Food waste generates 3.3 billions tons of carbon dioxide, which accelerates global climate change

More food waste facts from FAO, HERE

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To produce food requires land, water, chemicals, electricity, energy both in the form of tractors/machines/human energy, transportation (between countries and within the country). And then there is the electricity and energy and heating/lighting in the stores and cafes and restuarants where the food is stored. It requires so many resources – only for a certain percentage of the food being produced to be thrown away. A complete waste of resources. It is not sustainable – but there is such a demand for food and we are producing more than is necessary, while a part of the world is still malnourished and dying of starvation.

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If i am honest – i really don’t know what we can do about this. As mentioned, it is a problem that is much high up than just in the private household. I think it is something that politicians need to take responisbility over and make laws that can lessen the amount of food waste each year. But also that business owners take responsibility.

As mentioned, many business owners and food stores do keep an eye on how much is thrown away. But you can never really know from day to day and there will always be food wastage. The fact is that resturants, stores, cafes etc they always want an abundance of food just to “make sure” as well as it looking better if there is plenty to choose from rather than just few foods/items to choose. This of course also results in huge amounts of food thrown away because most often the demand isn’t as high as the supply.

I don’t know what we can do about this….

I guess as private households to not throw away as much food. But also when possible – buy food that is close to the best before date if we know we can freeze it in or use it before it goes bad – this saves the store from having to throw it away.

Also shopping at stores online, such as matsmart (or if you have a similar store in your country) where they sell foods that won’t sell in regular food stores (either because the products are close to the best before date [but still fine to eat], or maybe the packaging is a little dented and so stores don’t want to sell them, or if the store just ordered too many and canät sell them. So you can buy them for cheaper in the online store.) Or even buy reduced food from certain cafes/resturants that often sell the left over food for a cheaper price. There are usually apps for this, i think!

I feel very down about this right now… i just wish there was more i could do, but it is such ahuge problem that one person can’t fix.

If you have thoughts about this or tips or ideas, please comment below… i would love to know your thoughts!

 

**Also in this post i didn’t even mention all the fast food restaurants, schools, hospitals etc that throw out food daily.

You can read more at FAO resources, HERE

How to store fruit and veggies & how long they last

I may be 22 years old and eat a whole bunch of fruit and vegetables daily… but if i am honest, i have no idea how to store fruit or vegetables correctly. Or well, i did learn about this in one of my courses in school but it went in one ear and out the other. (I.e after my test was done i just forgot everything i leant, haha)

Basically i just keep most of them in my fridge and don’t think twice about it…. but i know that some of the fruit and veg i have would be best kept in the pantry or a cold, dark place which isn’t the fridge. Not to mention that some fruit and veg should be kept seperate, or some should be stored side by side so that they ripen quicker (?).

I found an infographic and some information about how to store certain fruit and veg properly, as well as how long they last if stored correctly which i wanted to share. Not just for you, but for me as well… maybe i will finally learn and store the produce correctly. Though i sort of think…. i will manage to eat or cook the food before it goes bad so it doesn’t really matter.

I hope this helps someone else 🙂

When it comes to advice on working in the kitchen, there's a lot of ground to cover. Anyone who can master the art of making food is truly talented! -- Click image for more details. #homeimprovement

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