It might not seem obvious at first, but when you scrutinize the facts, food waste is a rampant, worldwide epidemic. You might think to yourself that you, by no means, are wasting any food. But if you stop and really think of it, you are contributing to this problem in one way or another. Whether we are knowingly doing it or not, we are all accountable for throwing away about 40% of the world’s supposed food consumption.
With almost half the total amount of food going to waste, millions and millions of people are still deprived of it. So how do we minimize food waste exactly? Is there anything we can contribute to do our part in not wasting too much food? Here are 5 facts you should consider from now on.
Using Food Vacuum Sealers to Preserve Food
Food vacuum sealing has been around for quite some time and is still in use due to its effectiveness. Vacuum sealing food prevents the spoilage of food and prolongs its shelf life because it inhibits the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms, and it keeps food fresh while preventing freezer burn. See, like plants and animals, microorganisms thrive when there is oxygen that they can feed on.
Therefore, vacuum sealing prevents the propagation of any unwanted bacteria on your food. This technique is especially good when you are transporting food over long distances. Start hunting for the best vacuum sealer you can find in order to prolong the life of your food.
Proper Storage of Food Prolongs Its Life
Other people may neglect this fact, but proper storage matters when it comes to reducing food waste. If you go on the internet and do research about the proper places and environmental conditions in which to store food, you would be surprised at how many of them you could be doing wrong.
For example, there are many common kinds of fruits and vegetables that you do not want to keep in the fridge or freezer. Now many of us have practiced storing fruits and vegetables inside the fridge for many years now when in reality, we could extend the life of these types of food by just keeping them out in the kitchen and at room temperature.
Expiration Dates are not the End of the Line
Admit it, many of us are scared by expiration dates. We worry that if food is not consumed by the specified date on the food’s label, we might get food poisoning.
Experts say that expiration dates or best before dates are just guidelines for us. They are not the only determining factor when it comes to the question of whether or not food should still be eaten. We have to trust our senses on this one and determine for ourselves whether the food is still okay to consume. If you’ve followed proper storage practices, then you might get to avoid throwing food away.
Composting Helps Reduce Waste from Food Products
When you have rotten food that you can no longer consider edible, instead of throwing it away, there is something else you can do: composting. When you throw food away, the garbage man takes it, but it does not stop there. In the case of food waste, it usually goes to the dump.
And when it is dumped there, it could produce harmful compounds such as methane and hydrogen sulfide gases that go out to the atmosphere and contribute to global warming and the decline of people’s health. So, in order to help alleviate this problem, do something with your food waste and compost in your backyard. Plus, your plants will thank you for it.
Despite all the measures you could take in terms of storage and determining whether or not to throw food away, it all boils down to one single factor: shopping smart. When you shop smart, you won’t have to throw as much food away, right? It makes sense, really. So when you plan on going to the grocery store to buy your usual groceries, think about checking out your stock first. Check in your fridge for what you still have, so you won’t have to buy as much of that product.
Also, when you get home from grocery shopping, practice the FIFO method. This is the First In, First Out method. Put forward in the pantry or the fridge those older food products and put the newer ones at the back so you would know which to eat or cook first.
Those are just 5 of the facts you should consider in order to reduce the amount of food waste that happens around your household. Take note of these 5 things next time you consider throwing away food and the next time you do grocery shopping.