To celebrate #wastefreeweek, we're partnering with Hungry Harvest to provide you with our favorite tools and tips to eat waste-free. Below, four short and simple steps toward reducing food waste in the kitchen.
(1) Buy In Bits
Instead of stocking up at the supermarket, only buy what you need for the next few days from your local grocery. Tempting as a packed-to-the-gills kitchen can be, it's way easier to lose track of what you have on hand—which means it's likely that a lot of what you buy will go to waste anyway. So save money (and eat fresher!) by buying a little bit at a time.
(2) Eat Ugly
If you're lucky enough to live in an area served by cool cosmetically-challenged fruit and veg delivery services such as Hungry Harvest or Imperfect, sign up TODAY. These smart start-ups are tackling food waste by providing clients with ugly fruits and veggies at a fraction of the supermarket cost.
If you don't have access to this kind of service, check out your local farmers' market. A lot of the time, customers pick over funky produce because of the (totally false) belief that ugly fruit and veggies are lesser than their conventional counterparts. So not true! Don't let all that good food go to waste. Embrace these cosmetically-challenged cuties in the kitchen by trying out fun new recipes for root-to-stem cooking.
(3) CUT. OFF. THE. MOLD
I used to roll my eyes at my mother's thriftiness in the kitchen (saving tea bags for DAYS?) but as I grow older and learn more about the relationship between our approach to cooking and food waste on farms, I am so grateful for what my mother has taught me: namely, to cut off the mold. An entire block of cheese isn't spoiled just because of a little organic green growth. A stale loaf of bread is a prime opportunity to make garlicky croutons. And a bruised apple is ripe for whipping up into a crumble. I'm not saying drink the sour milk but relax a little. American hygiene standards are off-the-charts in comparison to most other countries. Do as the French do and care a little less.
Composting at home is way easier than you think. This guide to composting will help you sort what to trash and what to toss into the compost bin. I particularly love this model but you can use a Mason Jar to store compostable goodies like tea bags and coffee grounds in your fridge. Most farmers' markets and co-ops accept compost on a weekly basis. But if you're looking to grow a garden (and no better time than now) fold your compost into a nutrient-rich soil mix to create the fertile foundation for nurturing all kinds of gorgeous plants into being.