Thursday, January 5, 2012

Resolutions Part I: Food, Not Waste

 Evergreen BrickworksFarmer's Market 2010
Recently, a friend of mine gave me some great advice on how to reduce food waste.  Once a week, every Saturday, let’s say, sit down with your partner and write out your meals for the week.  By writing down every meal, including breakfast and snacks, you can do your grocery shopping based on that menu and prevent over buying.  It’s a great idea to create and stick to a shopping list to help you avoid buying things you don’t really need.


One of the best things about this strategy is that you will save money! This alone is a great reason to consider this resolution but if you need a better reason, here’s one for you: minimizing your food waste will help combat global warming because composting food in landfills produces harmful methane gas which contributes to global warming (thedailygreen.com).

Some other great tips to help reduce unnecessary food waste from The Daily Green: keep a healthy fridge, eat smaller servings, plan ahead, buy only what you need and freeze what you can’t eat right away. And if all else fails, compost it.

Reducing food waste could possibly be one of the most important resolutions you will keep this year. According to UN Food and Agriculture Organization statistics, North Americans throw away about one third of the food they buy each week! (nationofchange.org)  And that number doesn’t even include food  manufacturers, restaurants, schools, grocery stores, etc.  So one can only imagine how much food is actually wasted in North America each year.  

If you're turning over a new leaf by eating healthier this year and plan on ridding your cupboards of unwanted food, don't just throw it away.  Think about donating your non-perishable items or ask a friend or family member to take the food off your hands. Bottom line, don't waste food!

And if you are planning a healthier lifestyle for 2012, why not try a week per month of eating vegetarian or vegan.  It's no secret that reducing your meat and cheese intake will greatly improve your health.  There is so much information out there today about how a vegan diet can reduce major health risks, such as heart disease and cancers, that it really seems like an obvious solution.

However, if you're not ready to give up meat and dairy just yet, but are willing to try it for just one day a week or one week a month that is still a very big step to take.   You'll not only be improving your health, you will be doing your part in helping the environment.


Good luck with your goals and happy 2012! 


To learn more about how meat production is damaging our environment, check out this article by The Guardian: 10 Ways Vegetarianism can Help Save the Planet.

More on Reducing Food Waste at these websites:

 

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