My family participated in the Glad Fresh Food Challenge which was a commitment to achieve ZERO food wasted over the first two weeks of October. This is a tough challenge for us as we often get a little over-excited in the produce section and end up throwing out rotting fruits and vegetables we just plain old forgot about. My husband also tends to cook a whole lot more than what we can physically eat and never seems to wrap our perishables properly before putting them in the fridge. Garbage night tends to be a little sickening as we clean out the fridge and realise just how much as gone to waste.
The sad thing is that we aren’t the only Canadian family who lives like this! Did you know that the typical Canadian Household wastes 13% of all food purchased, resulting in over $725 worth of food items wasted each year?
It’s time to change these statistics by looking closer at how we can eliminate our food waste by learning to be smart shoppers, by protecting our groceries and by using up leftovers in a timely fashion. Glad is here to help too with a wide array of high quality and functional products to help you keep your food fresh and out of the trash.
Plan Your Shopping Trip
Meal planning is a great way to minimize food waste and is an excellent way to cut down on your grocery bill simply by not purchasing unnecessary food. Even if you don’t have time to plan out your week like that it is a good idea to start with a simple shopping list featuring items that you think you will use in conjunction with that you already have. When you get to the store be sure to stick that list!
Store Food Properly
Previously I only ever wrapped perishables that had been cut and put fresh produce straight into the crisper drawers. I never thought to wrap up this stuff but it was one of the tips we were given and I was truly amazed with how much longer my fruit and vegetables lasted.
Using GLAD Storage Zipper Bags, Freezer Bags, Press ‘n Seal Wrap and ClingWrap we really tackled storing all our food properly – both fresh and leftovers.
For example, overripe bananas can be peeled, cut into chunks and frozen in a GLAD Zipper Freezer Bag for a sweet and satisfying smoothie or banana bread. The same can be done with berries. Wrapping fresh produce as soon as possible reduces moisture loss and extends the life of your fruits and veggies. Cheese goes mouldy fastest when touched or left open, so use Cling
Wrap to tightly wrap up your cheese so it stays fresh longer. Freezing steaks and chicken breasts individually with Press ‘n’ Seal – even if you buy in bulk – is the surest way to avoid freezer burn.
Get Creative with Leftovers
We don’t have a problem with using up leftovers. They either get eaten as is or I will often combine leftovers to create a new meal. Sometimes we will have a roasted chicken and rice for dinner and the next day I will use the leftovers with some fresh or frozen vegetables and a couple eggs to make chicken fried rice. If you get a little creative with your leftovers it is easy to minimize waste of already prepared food plus you can cut down on the expense of ordering out!
So how did we do? Pretty well aside from a 10 kg bag of beets that went bad before I could get around to pickling them. That all comes down to trusting my husband that the basement was indeed cool enough to store them. (Obviously our basement is far too warm for food storage.) I was pretty pleased with the state of our fridge though thanks to GLAD!
Now that the Challenge is complete I am happy to say that eliminating food waste is something on our minds when we set out to get new groceries and as we prepare food for our family. I am sure we will see significant savings this year because of it.
How do you eliminate food waste?
Elizabeth Lampman is a coffee-fuelled Mom of 2 girls and lives in Hamilton, Ontario. She enjoys travelling, developing easy recipes, crafting, taking on diy projects, travelling and saving money!