Food waste happens at every point in the food system, but more than 43% of it happens in our homes, according to ReFED. Here are a few of our favorite tips for reducing waste in the kitchen:
Shop your fridge before shopping the store. A lot of food waste happens simply because we forget what we've already bought and cooked, and buy new food instead of using leftovers. Give leftovers priority by starting your meal plan based around what you have, and make regular fridge-purge recipes like soups, stews and casseroles a key part of your cooking. Stock your pantry with versatile grains, spices and dried goods so you have a good supporting cast of characters to mix with leftovers and give old dishes new life.
When you shop, shop with a list and a plan. Before you set foot in a store or log on to your Imperfect account, do some meal planning. Think ahead to what meals you need to make in the coming week and what ingredients can overlap between them. Are there ways to repurpose leftovers from one meal to the next? Shopping with a list every time is also a great way to save time and money at the store and avoid unhealthy impulse purchases.
Store your food properly. How we store our food has big consequences for our wallets and the environment. Store cheese loosely wrapped in wax paper instead of plastic wrap to keep it fresh longer. Avocados remain fresh longer in the fridge, and you can treat herbs like cut flowers and keep them in a jar of water. For more storage tips, consult your Imperfect storage guide. Remember that your freezer can be your best friend when it comes to extending the life of cooked dishes for months!
Cook root-to-leaf. From carrot tops to broccoli stems to leek greens, how often do you use every piece of the fruits and veggies that you pay for? How much of your grocery bill are you throwing away? The good news is that your stems, leaves, peels and scraps are actually just delicious recipes in the making. From carrot-leaf pesto to pickled chard stems to citrus-peel vinegar, there are many great ways to use every bit of the produce in your kitchen.
Imperfect is an online grocer focused on reducing food waste and building a better food system for everyone. Learn more about how you can join the movement with Imperfect.