What’s Cooking? – Trimming food waste in the kitchen

(NC) Wasting food isn’t just careless and uneconomical – it also adds carbon dioxide emissions to the environment. Over half of all food produced in Canada is lost or wasted, which adds up to over $1,700 per household according to Second Harvest. To help you cut back, save money and help the planet, check out these tips:

Shop smart. Look for recyclable or compostable products and packaging. “Consumers have a significant impact by choosing environmentally conscious products,” explains Dr. Calvin Lakhan, waste management expert. “For example, the 100% compostable coffee pods from Maxwell House have entirely sustainable components – the pod and pod bag are both fully compostable and the outer carton is 100 per cent recyclable. It’s a simple one-step process that makes a big difference and provides an alternative to single-serve pods, leaving zero waste for the consumer.”

Store smart. One of the main ways we waste food is by having it expire before we get a chance to use it. To help avoid this, learn how to store different items – what goes in the fridge, what goes out, what goes in the pantry. For example, treat fresh herbs like flowers and set them upright in water to extend their shelf life. Items like dairy and fresh meat are best kept in the lower shelf of your fridge, not the door which varies in temperature and is often warmer.

Preserve smart. With physical distancing guidelines in place for the last few months, most of us have been spending more time at home and picking up new hobbies. While gardening and sourdough baking were early hits, now is a good time to try your hand at a variety of preservation techniques including canning, pickling, drying and fermenting. Learning to safely preserve foods at home can help you take advantage of fresh, local produce when it’s in season, try new recipes and flavours, and stock your pantry and freezer with ready-made meals for last-minute timesavers.

Check your local grocery stores for the 100 per cent compostable coffee pods.

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