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Article: How to reduce food waste

Wie du Lebensmittelabfälle reduzieren kannst | paigh | Fair & gemütlich

How to reduce food waste

A third of the food produced in Germany ends up in the trash. This amounts to 150 g of food waste per person per day. These are frightening amounts. Of course, not only does the food end up in the trash, but also a lot of money...

I don't know how you feel about it, but I always get really angry when I see other people throwing away everything. Leftover food that you just don't feel like eating anymore? An apple with brown dents? A yogurt that reached its best-before date yesterday? All of this ends up in the trash even though you could have eaten it. This is probably due to people's convenience. And ignorance and lack of knowledge certainly play a role. Many people are not aware of how harmful food waste is to the environment.

Why does food waste harm the environment?

Food accounts for 20% of solid waste in landfills. However, organic substances cannot decompose there because they are enclosed. The food is surrounded by nothing but non-organic substances, so decomposition is not possible. Additionally, there is not enough air in landfills to support decay. Instead, the organic substances release methane, which, as we all know, contributes heavily to climate change.

What will be thrown away?

First of all, almost everything that is thrown away is still edible. Because it's not the spoiled things that make up the majority of our food waste, but the things that no longer seem appetizing or good enough to us.

This particularly affects Fruits and vegetables. Precisely what forms such an important part of our food! Unfortunately, if stored incorrectly, it quickly becomes unsightly and often ends up in the trash.

Also Food residuesViolationand Bakery products make up a large proportion (30%) of food waste. At 9%, dairy product waste is significantly rarer than fruit and vegetable waste, which accounts for 34%.

Tips for avoiding food waste

Frau kocht in einer Küche am Herd ein Nudelgericht


Take stock

How often do you (spontaneously) go shopping without first checking the cupboards at home to see what you still have? It also helps to think in advance about what you want to eat throughout the week. Then you shop more specifically and less food goes bad. Means less waste...

Brown spot = rotten apple?

A little bit of “rot” won’t kill you. If I see that my potatoes, tomatoes or apples have a brown spot, I simply cut out the affected piece. The rest can be used without any problems.
By the way, this also applies to avocados: There is a widespread assumption that an avocado is inedible if it has slightly brown spots. Only if you discover mold should you stop consuming it. The brown spots are primarily caused by oxidation.

However, you should be more careful with milk and meat and discard moldy products entirely. For this reason, it makes sense to think about how and when you want to use and eat the food that quickly goes bad before buying.

Buy Less

Do you know that? You go to the supermarket or the market to buy certain things - and in the end your shopping basket is completely overfilled? This especially happens to me when I go shopping while hungry... It's never a good idea.
We often buy more than we can use in a timely manner. Buy less, even if you initially think you're buying too little - you usually end up with exactly the right amount. You can always buy more things if you realize you don't have enough. But you can't undo what you've already purchased.

We all have a secret fear of not having enough food at home and therefore tend to buy too much. In addition, supermarkets are pretty good at marketing. You are tempted to buy more without even realizing it.

So watch yourself when shopping and buy less than you initially want!

Person trägt einen Korb mit Kartoffeln, Möhren, Mais, Paprika, Tomaten, Salat und Orangen


Reuse your leftovers

Food scraps that could have been reused often end up in organic waste or compost. These include, for example, carrot and potato peels, the skin of onions and garlic or tips of leeks and celery. You can use it to make vegetable broths and vegetable chips or to pickle other vegetables. You can find lots of ideas on how to reuse food leftovers on the internet!
So before we just throw them in the bin next time, we can ask ourselves whether there are still ways to use the leftovers...

Use the possibilities of your freezer compartment

If you notice that certain things are slowly going bad or that you probably won't be able to process them in time, it's worth freezing these foods. Most fruits and vegetables can be frozen. Frozen bananas and frozen zucchini, for example, are great in smoothies! Here too, there are numerous options for further processing frozen food.
Leftover food, such as fully cooked dishes, can often be frozen for several months.
My freezer compartment is quite small. Maybe it's because I sometimes forget I have it... But it really helps us reduce food waste!

Prepare once, enjoy several times

Sometimes you get so busy making all the different dishes you have planned that you end up wasting more food than necessary. And sometimes something comes up or you postpone your plans. You eat out, are invited out or don't have enough time to cook.

That's why it makes sense to cook or prepare vegetables once and then eat them several times. As a one-person household, I like to cook several portions at once. I eat the first portion in the evening and take the second portion with me to university the next day.
Once you're cutting peppers and you know you'll need some for wraps in the next few days, you can cut the entire pepper straight away. When you then want to prepare the wraps you are happy for the work you have done in advance.

So you can just try to keep it simple. This doesn't mean you should only eat one dish for a whole week. But you can think about how you can cook cleverly and simply and still have variety.

At the beginning, every new habit requires strength and endurance. Everything seems much more complex and complicated. But if you try one or two of the tips mentioned here a few times, it will soon work itself out. Your own awareness and attitude towards food and waste changes. And you can have a clear conscience about contributing to climate protection!

Meal Prep Lunch Box mit Kichererbsen, Curry, Reis und Avocado


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