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Wellness Wednesday

How to Cut Back on Food Waste with Tips from TOPS Members

reduce food waste by chopping vegetables into plastic containers

BEN6/ISTOCK

It always pains me a little whenever I have to toss food, either from an overzealous trip to the produce aisle or forgetting about a once-delicious leftover dish in the fridge. This morning I had to throw away an acorn squash that started to resemble a science experiment. Wasting food just seems so, well, wasteful.

According to a survey* released from the International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC), one-third of food produced never reaches a human mouth. And 74% of consumers surveyed toss leftovers of foods prepared at home. I try my best to avoid acorn squash/science experiment situations, but I’m always open to new ideas for reusing leftovers and how to reduce food waste.

When we asked TOPS members on Facebook for their favorite tips, here’s a sample of what they had to share:

  • “When my veggies are getting ready to be tossed, I make a big pot of veggie soup.” – Sherri B.
  • “Finely chopped veggies are great added to pasta sauce or chili.” – Kendra M.
  • “In the summer I freeze any fruit that is getting too ripe. In the winter I get a taste of summer from my fruit smoothies, and I bake zucchini loaves and banana breads for our community bake sale.” – Lenora D.
banana chips in a bowl

DEBBISMIRNOFF/ISTOCK

  • “I use my dehydrator and dehydrate fruit that is starting to spoil. Banana chips last a long time and are an excellent snack.” – Forestburg TOPS
  • “I minimize food waste by prepping all my fruit and veggies the day of or the day after I go grocery shopping.” – Lisa P.
  • “One of my best ways is using leftover meat on a salad during the week. This week it is chicken taco meet from the crockpot.” – Suzan C.
  • “When you store fresh produce, put a paper towel in the bag/container. It helps keep moisture off the produce so it doesn’t get slimy and moldy.” – Wendy H.

Members also mentioned composting, the importance of reusable containers and even sharing leftovers with grateful backyard chickens! Do you have a go-to tip to reduce food waste and make the most of your groceries? Let’s hear it in the comments!

*A Survey of Consumer Behaviors & Perceptions of Food Waste

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