Zero Hunger: 4 Tips to Avoid Food Waste in Support of World Food Day by Susan Bowerman, M.S., R.D., CSSD, CSOWM, FAND
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, an estimated one-third, or about 1.3 billion tons, of all food produced globally is lost or goes to waste, which contributes to global food insecurity. This has helped to spark the revolution for #ZeroHunger, which aims to ensure access for everybody to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round.
In recognition of World Food Day, a global day to increase awareness of global hunger which takes place on October 16, here are four tips to consider when planning your family meals, to help reduce food waste:
Understand what those dates on your food packaging actually mean. A "sell-by" date is really just the date that a food has to be pulled from the store shelves. A "use-by" date is suggested for best flavor or quality, but many foods are safe to eat after this date. For instance, milk can easily last another week past the date and eggs can last for another three weeks.
Get creative with your perishable items. There are many ways to get the most out of your perishable food items when they start to look a little sad. When your tomatoes get too mushy to cut up for salads, consider making them into homemade tomato sauce. Are your bananas getting brown and mushy? Give them another life by freezing and using them as a healthy smoothie ingredient.
Donate extras to those in need. Clearing out your pantry? Consider donating extra food items to local food banks and charities. You can find local food banks through Why Hunger.
Instead of family style, plate up in the kitchen. If you’re trying to control portions, and ultimately avoid food waste, consider portioning out your meal in the kitchen. With serving dishes on the table, it’s just too easy for guests to over-serve themselves – one of the biggest sources of food waste comes from food left on the plate.
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