I have it. Blame it on my family. Growing up in a home that heartily encouraged a happy plate, I’ve been programmed to take only what I can eat and finish it all – licking my plate when necessary.
Clearly, it hasn’t worn off. Today as an adult, I still can’t stand to throw away food. It’s so wasteful. I will likely forever view it as money gone in the trash. But you know what? That’s not such a bad thing because it makes me more conscious of the money I spend on food and how I can avoid waste.
Another reason not to waste food? It can be healthier for your waistline. Here’s how.
Pack a light plate. When you load up your plate to the brim, food gets wasted or you overeat. I don’t know how many times I’ve watched friends opt for a double scoop ice cream cone over a single and then grow weary after it’s only half gone. Tisk, tisk. To avoid this mistake, take a small portion at first and then if you finish your plate, go back for another small portion of seconds. This will ensure you’re not overeating or wasting food.
Utilize leftovers. When it comes to leftovers, don’t trash those small portions of beans, rice and veggies from your homemade burrito bowl. Instead, pack them up in a small tupperwear for tomorrow’s lunch. When you start to find ways to utilize everything you prepare, you begin to think more creatively and waste less food in the process.
Use ingredients more than once. For large quantity ingredients – like packs of herbs or a pound of ground meat – think of ways to use them in multiple meals instead of just one. Throw your leftover herbs into omelets, biscuits, or salads. And freeze leftover meats, or add them to a recipe for Thursday and Saturday instead of just for burgers on Tuesday. This way you’re maximizing your dollar spent at the grocery store.
Properly package leftovers. This one’s easy and effective. Pack frozen foods in proper freezer bags. Make sure containers containing food are air-tight. The more protected food is from the air, freezer burn and unpleasant scents, the less likely it is to spoil, which equals less food wasted.
Measure, measure, measure. This has to do with portion as well, but on the front end. Only cook what you need. If there’s just two of you, don’t boil an entire box of pasta; you need a quarter or third at most. Thinking ahead when it comes to portioning can go a long way in avoiding waste.
Order proper portion sizes. When you eat out, there’s that temptation to go for the bigger size to more fully indulge. But put a stop to that habit now for your budget and health’s sake. Opting for the super size fry or extra large drink will only get you into two situations: overeating or wasting. Keep portion sizes in check now and your future, healthier self will thank you for it.
With these tips in mind, you should be better able to navigate the food wasting waters and start saving money – and pounds – in the process.
Source: Shine Food
June 11th, 2012