Reducing Food Waste
According to the City of Toronto, “The average single-family household throws away over 200 kg of food waste (avoidable and unavoidable) a year”. Food disposal is a contributing factor to global warming because it releases a gas called methane, which traps heat in the atmosphere. It is responsible for “7% of greenhouse gas emissions'' (UN). Before throwing a banana away because it looks funny consider not only the environmental impacts but think of those who go hungry as well. The UN says that “ 821 million” do not have enough food to be nourished.
Now that I am in second year I do more cooking by myself and have a greater responsibility when it comes to how much food I end up composting. However, I know how difficult learning to shop and cook for yourself can be - many students end up over buying or forgetting what food they have, and aren't able to use it before it goes bad.
Here are a few tips I learnt while navigating my food waste consumption:
→ Meal Planning : Try going to the grocery store with a few meals in mind or a list, this avoids over buying and this way you know what you’ve purchased and how to use it! Meal planning can help with figuring out buying what you need.
→ Buy some things as a house: If you’re living in a house with a group of people then it may be beneficial to buy things as a group. Items such as milk (and milk alternatives), eggs, or produce may be good to buy collectively.
→ Get creative and cook some WIF meals (Whatever's In the Fridge) Before going on another grocery haul, do your best to use up whatever you have left. MyFridgeFood.com is a great tool and provides recipes by choosing individual ingredients. You can simply check off the individual ingredients you have and the website will show you a bunch of recipes. Check it out : https://myfridgefood.com/
Food is important to everyone, we all eat it and we all need it. Remember to consider the environmental impacts of food waste, those who have no food, and the effort and resources it took to produce the food you have, before turning to the waste bin.
Author: Preet Dhillon, Healthy Cooking Team Member