New Year, Less Food Waste

40% of food is wasted in the United States!

How can you turn food waste into a game! ideas for frittas, soup, rice bowls, wraps and grain bowls below.

We have a crisis of food waste in the United States. Households account too much wasted food. Not only does wasting food, waste valuable resources and lots of water, but also food in our landfills decomposes creating and giving off methane gas which is a harmful air pollutant contributing to global warming.

Melissa Clark for the New York Times is writing about ideas to deal with food waste

Susan Shain’s recent article for The New York Times has jolted me back into my composting groove. She wrote about how an Ohio community substantially reduced its food waste, which is a huge contributor to greenhouse gases and responsible for twice as many emissions as commercial aviation in the United States. That’s a lot of emissions.
Households, she writes, “account for 39 percent of food waste in the United States, more than restaurants, grocery stores or farms. Change, then, means tackling the hard-wired habits of hundreds of millions of individuals, community by community, home by home.”
The statistics left me nowhere to hide. What we do in the kitchen can make a difference: creating meal plans, shopping with a list, composting and using up the leftovers.
This last one is my happy place. I turn it into a game, saving bits of this and that in little containers, then puzzling out how to use them to seed future meals.
That handful of sautéed kale, those roasted vegetables, a tranche of salmon fillet? Chop it all up and fold it into a creamy risotto for color and flavor, or make a base for a loaded frittata.
Half-wilted bunches of cilantro or parsley and bags of baby arugula or spinach can find homes in all kinds of soups, like a lemony turkey and white bean soup, or pasta dishes like a pantry-friendly midnight pasta. Sturdy salads — cucumber or, say, yesterday’s takeout green papaya — will work as a topping for any rice bowl, including sesame salmon and katsudon (pork cutlet bowls, so beloved in the anime series, “Yuri!!! On Ice”).
If you have a motley band of root vegetables softening in your produce drawer, perhaps from an overenthusiastic spree at the farmers’ market or a surprise bonanza from your CSA box, you can upcycle them into a warming, adaptable vegetable soup. Enlist your wilted or leftover greens; rutabagas, turnips and kohlrabi, come on in!
As for leftover dessert, a batch of brookies or bread pudding (made from stale bread). Let’s just say this is never an issue in my sweet-toothed family. We gleefully finish every crumb.
https://www.ecowatch.com/food-waste-guide.html

1. Take inventory of your fridge and pantry before you go shopping to make sure you prevent overbuying.

2. Create a meal plan so you can utilize ingredients appropriately. 

3. Buy “ugly” foods of all shapes and sizes. 

4. Properly store food in the fridge for maximum freshness. 

5. For vegetables past their prime, repurpose them in soups, casseroles, frittatas and more. 

6. Compost! For more on how to do that, see EcoWatch’s composting guide here.

Food waste from PBS:

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/food-waste-is-contributing-to-climate-change-whats-being-done-about-it

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