Are you noticing that you are throwing away a huge chunk of your food due to spoilage?

Every year, an estimated 1.3 billion tonnes of food ends up in landfills. That is one third of food produced intended for human consumption. Do your part by lessening food waste in your own kitchen with these nine useful tips:

1. Grow Your Own Food

Growing your own food has tons of benefits. Firstly, it encourages you to eat fresh produce, one that is at its peak ripeness. Secondly, by growing your own food, you can make sure which exact chemicals and insecticides go to the plant, and you can also opt to have it as organic as you wish. When it comes to lessening food waste at home, planting your own veggies and produce motivates you to utilise your own harvest rather than buying repeatedly.

2. Compost

Instead of throwing away fruit and vegetable peels, use them as fertilisers for your plants. Chop peels and scraps into smaller pieces before adding them to your compost to help speed up the process. You can also add things like eggshells, coffee grounds, news paper, cardboard, and dried leaves. Water your compost regularly and stir them occasionally. Once the compost becomes dry and crumbly, you may now add this to your garden soil.

3. Maximize Your Fridge And Pantry

As a rule of thumb, make sure you have consumed most, if not all, of your fridge and pantry items before buying more. Many tend to waste their food by shopping for more food and eventually forgetting about what they already had. As the saying goes, "out of sight, out of mind", so be mindful in organising your pantry and fridge by placing food items that are highly perishable or near to their expiration date where you can easily reach them.

4. Plan Meals Ahead

Planning meals will greatly help in reducing food waste. By making an outline of meals to cook, you can make sure which ingredients to use first and which ones you will need later in the week. This will also help you make sure that you use up all your food items.

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5. Plan Your Grocery/Market Run

Before going to the grocery store, be sure to check your pantry and fridge first for which items you still have, and then make a list of all essentials that you are running low on. Be sure to buy with purpose; buy what you need, especially when it comes to vegetables. Know the specific veggies you will be needing as well as the right portion size so you don't end up overbuying and eventually having them wilt before you had the chance to consume them.

6. Portion Your Food Smartly

When cooking, make sure to only cook and prepare the right serving so you don't end up with leftovers. If you do have leftovers, store them in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge or freezer. Keep in mind that you should consume them within 3-5 days.

7. Make Your Own Stock

Often times, you end up with bits and pieces of raw vegetables, pork, chicken, and even beef. Instead of throwing these away, why not keep them in a resealable pouch in the freezer? Continue adding scrap ingredients until you have enough to make a stock. Also add in onions, ginger, garlic, and herbs of your choice to further enhance its flavour. You can use stock in many dishes such as soups. stews, sauces, and braising meats.

8. Store Your Food Properly

Proper storage is vital in extending the life of your food. Know which items to keep in the freezer, refrigerator, or pantry. For meats, your freezer will be your best friend when it comes to keeping them fresh for long periods of time. For vegetables, especially leafy greens, store them in paper bags and place them in the fridge trying your best not to squish them. Also invest in resealable bags and airtight containers which will help preserve and protect your food. 

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9. Preserve and Ferment Your Food

Not only are fermented foods great for digestion, they also lengthen the life of vegetables and meats. There are so many ways to preserve your food, from pickling, drying, fermenting, curing and more. You can also make juices and jams from excess fruits! 

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