How to Reduce Food Waste: Part 1

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food waste

How about a new family tradition? Why not come together as a family and reduce food waste moving forward?

I thought tackling food waste would be appropriate – not to mention budget-friendly – since all of us tend to waste enormous amounts of food. And not just fresh produce. We unfortunately pitch half-eaten food that wasn’t stored properly. Or unnecessarily pitch canned, boxed and jarred foods that are beyond their “best by” date. We feel guilty, but we keep doing it.

So post these tips where everyone in the family can see them. Assign specific family members to specific tasks. And hold a family meeting each month to see how you’re doing. No matter how small your efforts, you are making a difference.

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1. Temperatures

Proper storage temperatures mean the food will remain safe and at its intended quality, and you won’t have to pitch it because it went bad. Is the fridge temperature between 34 and 39 degrees? It can’t be one degree higher, because the food safety danger zone, where bacteria multiply quickly, is 40 to 140 degrees. The freezer needs to be 0 degrees or below. Buy those inexpensive (less than $10) thermometers and keep one in your fridge and freezer constantly so you can check them frequently. Oh, and the pantry? It should be cool and dry. So if you have a heat vent in there, you might want to close it during the winter.

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