Go Further With Food
Written by Stephanie Scott, RD, LMNT
March 1, 2018
Celebrated each year in March, National Nutrition Month® encourages us to focus on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. The theme for 2018 is “Go Further With Food” specifically by cutting back on food waste. Everyone can “Go Further with Food” by learning how to manage food resources at home to save nutrients and money.
An estimated 300 pounds of food per person per year is thrown out or wasted, and food wasted means wasted money and nutrients. Grocery stores throw out fresh fruits and vegetables when they don’t look appealing, consumers leave food on plates at restaurants that get thrown away, items are tossed when not used before their “best by” dates. Fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and seafood are the most often thrown out foods, causing us to miss out on important nutrients like protein, dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. So take action this month to help reduce food waste in your home to save money and nutrients. Here are some tips to start going further with your food.
Ways to Help Prevent Food Waste:
- Plan meals and snacks based on foods you already have at home.
- Check the refrigerator, freezer, and pantry for foods that need to be used up.
- Find recipes that use ingredients you already at home.
- Write a list of food items you still need after checking your cupboards to save time and money at the grocery store and avoid purchasing more of items you already have at home.
- Buy only the amount of food that can be eaten or frozen within a few days.
- Place foods that spoil quickly within sight, such as a fruit bowl on the kitchen counter.
- Get creative with leftovers by transforming leftover ingredients into soups, salads, or sandwiches.
- Eat leftover foods within 3-4 days or freeze in air-tight containers for up to 3-4 months.
Ways to Go Further with Food:
- Be mindful of portion sizes when eating out or at home
- Save leftovers and enjoy for lunch the next day or as supper on busy week nights
- Order smaller size portions to reduce food waste and control your calorie intake
- Learn how to properly can or dehydrate foods at home
- Donate extra foods that are still safe to eat to a local food pantry
Check out these online food waste resources for more ways to reduce food waste and save money and nutrients:
- “Is My Food Safe” smartphone app