Food waste is a huge problem throughout the world. Over a billion tons of food meant for human consumption is either lost or wasted, mostly on the production and retail level. In North America and Europe, the average consumer wastes an average of 200-250 pounds each year!
Make your own broth from veggie scraps. Keep the tops & ends of carrots, onions, celery, garlic, & mushrooms in a gallon zip top bag in your freezer. Once the bag is full, toss in a crockpot with water to cover and a bay leaf. Simmer 4 – 8 hours until a rich, dark broth forms. Strain the liquid with a nut-milk bag or cheesecloth. Free veggie broth!
-Kelsea Hoover, MS, RDN
If you tend to accumulate odds and ends from meals, try a “kitchen sink” stir-fry. Sauté some garlic and ginger in olive oil until fragrant, add in your leftover grains, veggies, beans or meat, and cook until heated. Season with some soy sauce and sesame oil and you have a quick, tasty dish!
– Emily Matson, MS, RDN
Have overripe fruit? Super ripe bananas can be baked into delicious banana bread or placed in the freezer for banana ice cream, yum! Berries can be used in smoothies, baked into a pie or made into jam.
– Tracey Martin, MS, CN
We have leftover Wednesdays! It’s the night when we’re busy running to my daughter’s dance class and we don’t have time to cook. We all pick our favorite leftover dish in the fridge, and we add fresh steamed veggies to mix it up. If there are still leftovers after Wednesday, I use freezer safe glass containers and freeze to use within the next month.
– Suzan Botha, MS, RDN
Use taco night leftovers to make some “Magic Green Sauce”. Place any leftover cilantro, onion, and avocado in a high-powered blender or food processor. Add some lime juice, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth. Use the sauce as a zesty, nutrient-packed salad dressing, drizzle over eggs, or use as a marinade for meat.
– Morgan Clogston, MS, RDN
Write dates on the leftovers you put in the fridge (try masking tape and a sharpie), and try to eat them within 5-7 days. Having the dates visible will help you see which foods you should prioritize when reaching for a snack or a meal, and help prevent food from going to waste before you have a chance to eat it.
– Geanna Revell, MS, RDN
After you get home from grocery shopping, take some time to wash, prep, and properly store your fresh produce. This way it will all be ready to go and more likely to be used in meals and snacks rather than thrown out at the end of the week.
– Jef Fry, MS, CN
Don’t throw those coffee grounds out! They can be used as fertilizer in plants. Due to the high nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium content, plants love them. Don’t have plants? Sprinkle the coffee grounds on the grass to help repel egg laying mosquitoes.
– Jessica Blake, MS, RDN
Curious about other steps you can take to reduce food waste in your house? Head on over to the Expert channel in your Brook app for more tips!
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Reviewed by Emily Matson, MS, RDN
on February 10, 2020. Emily is a Registered Dietitian with her Master's degree in Nutrition from Bastyr University in Kenmore, WA, and is one of our Brook Experts.