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Celebrate Earth Day


Why and How to Reduce Food Waste in Your Home 

April 22 is Earth Day, a yearly reminder for us to consider how what we do affects the environment around us. What we eat (and don’t eat) matters too. A 2017 study published in the journal Agricultural Systems revealed almost 20% of available food is lost through overeating or waste. We eat around 10% more food than we need and 9% is thrown away or left to spoil. 

How can you and your family reduce food waste in your home? Follow these three P’s and you can help make a difference. 

Purchasing: Only buy what you need. It may seem like a deal to stock up in bulk, but both your wallet and the environment lose when leftover food is thrown out. Before you put food in your cart, think about how long it will stay fresh and when it will be eaten. “It’s okay to stock up on pantry items like canned tuna, whole grain pasta and low sodium beans, but when it comes to perishable items such as pineapples, grapes, fish and low fat dairy, you’re better off shopping more frequently to keep quality high and inventory moving,” explains Melanie Marcus MA, RD.

Preparing: After sorting, peeling, trimming and chopping, there tends to be a lot of food—and nutrition—tossed in the trash. Cut down on waste and keep the nutrients on your plate by using the whole plant. Skins are packed with fiber and tend to be the most nutrient-rich parts of plants. Forgo the peeler for apples and potatoes, preserve citrus peels and try pickling watermelon rinds (read more on Nature’s Packaging). You can also mix and match between meals. “If you’re like me, you make a homecooked meal on Sunday, plus a bit of meal prep and there are usually leftover fruits and vegetables,” shares Marcus. “Look at your leftovers and see what you can use for a meal later in the week. Roasted vegetables are easy additions to salads or can be turned into plant forward lasagna or used for taco or enchilada fillings. Leftover fruits can be added to oats or layered into yogurt to start your day with nutritious foods.” 

Portioning: Reduce plate waste by controlling the portions on your plate. “It’s common to overserve yourself foods such a pasta or casserole dishes,” says Marcus. “In general, Americans are overeating animal proteins, which require huge amounts of energy to produce.” Serve yourself proper portions of food (stay tuned for more in May!) and store the leftovers in the fridge. Cut down on animal proteins by eating more beans, legumes and vegetarian dishes. Even mix in a vegetarian meal a few times a week.

Celebrate Earth Day by bring our Niçoise Salad Jars on a spring picnic outside!


Published April 1, 2023

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