During the holidays, it is not uncommon for people to prepare big meals for family and friends (whether a potluck or home-made feast). I mean, let’s face it, eating a lot of food over the holidays has become somewhat of a tradition in many parts of the world.
Unfortunately, along with most holiday food prep comes food waste. That’s why it’s so important to take steps to significantly reduce food waste over the holidays. We’ve got four biofriendly steps you can use to minimize food waste when making a holiday meal for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year’s and even throughout the rest of the year.
1. Plan Your Holiday Meals Ahead of Time
Planning your meal and knowing what dishes you’re going to make can go a long way towards curbing food waste. For example, if you have roasted carrots in your meal plan, you might also want to consider making this carrot greens pesto. Doing so means you’ll be using the carrots in their entirety and nothing will go to waste.
You can do this with other dishes as well. The key is to find multiple dishes containing some or all of the same ingredients. This will allow you to use these ingredients from dish to dish without having any leftover waste.
2. Get Food Prep Done Early
Prepping food ahead of time can also help reduce waste. When we’re in a hurry, we tend to be a little more careless and not fully aware of the consequences our actions may have. For this reason, I recommend getting your food prep done early.
By doing this, you’ll be able to figure out what leftovers can be saved and which ones can be used in other dishes. The less food ending up in the trash, the better.
3. Repurpose Leftovers Into Creative, New Dishes
If you find you’ve made too much, leftovers can always be sent home with guests or stored properly for consumption at a later date. This is true for both potluck parties and celebrations where you prepare all the food.
Another option is to repurpose your leftovers into creative, new meals. Take what you have and figure out how to use it in a completely different way. This way you aren’t just eating the same thing reheated the next day. You’re bringing a whole new dish to life. Just remember, when it comes to repurposing leftovers, the sky’s the limit.
4. Compost Whatever Food You Don’t Eat
There are instances when cooking where you’ll have ingredients you either can’t consume or don’t want to save, as it’s such a small amount. In situations like this, composting is the way to go. Vegetable peelings, fruit, coffee grounds, egg shells and even tea bags can make great additions to your compost bin or pile. If you’re not sure what you can compost, here’s an easy compost guide for beginners.
By following these four, simple steps, you will be able to significantly reduce your food waste over the holidays.
From all of us here at Biofriendly Planet Magazine, we wish you and yours a happy, safe and biofriendly holiday!