Saturday, December 04, 2010

12 Tips to Minimize Food Waste

I've been reading the blog Wasted Food for several months. When the blog author, Jonathan Bloom, wrote a book about food waste in the US, I checked it out of the library and have been reading it over the past week.

We all know about the fact that there is a lot of food being wasted and we all agree that it is a bad thing. But the book has some stunning facts and statistics that got me thinking. In chapter one, the author talks about food waste at every stage from the time the food is produced until it end up in the kitchen- the farm, factories, transport, supermarkets. Chapter two is about why food waste matters- the economic impact, the environmental impact and the ethics. The third chapter describes the irony of food waste when there is so much hunger in the US and around the world; chapter four discusses how food waste mirrors a society that is driven by consumerism and mindless consumption. Chapter five talks about how our insistence on polished perfection in fruits and vegetables leads to so much waste of perfectly nutritious, edible food. Chapter six focuses on restaurant waste.

I am looking forward to reading the rest of the chapters about food waste at home and abut ways to tackle the problem. This book is a must-read for everyone who loves food and hates to see it wasted in such colossal amounts. If you are in the US, your local library probably has a copy.



If we expect any changes in policy on a national and global level, the mindset and action must start at home. Cutting out food waste completely (or as close to 100% as possible) remains a goal for me; I am not there yet.


These are my 12 mantras for cutting down food waste- that I keep chanting to myself. Reading this book made me want to share them with you. 

1. Keep the fridge clean and clutter free. Out of sight really is out of mind (and mouth). By knowing where everything is, food is not hidden or forgotten. I have zones in the fridge for prepared food (ready to eat, such as leftovers), dairy and eggs, fruits and vegetables, and for ingredient that need to be used up (half used cans of coconut milk or tomato, or a  partial block of cheese, say). Seeing these grouped together triggers the reminder to eat them up.

2. Plan meals. As my tea brews in the morning, I spend 30 seconds glancing at the food I have on hand in the fridge and pantry (and that needs to be used up quickly) and fashioning a menu for the day's dinner. I cannot expect to be too creative during the evening rush when we are already tired and hungry. As a bonus, the morning menu planning makes our evenings run very smoothly because deciding on the menu is half the battle. Instead of saying, "What do you feel like eating?" repeatedly to each other, V and I simply team up and cook dinner in 30 minutes while chatting about our day, with leftovers for lunch the next day.

3. Keep some fridge (and pantry and freezer)- cleaning recipes handy. Soup and stew is a good vehicle for all sorts of ingredients you may want to use up. I also like making mixed-vegetable subzis; they taste unique every time even with the same spices. And just about any leftover bits and bobs can be stuffed into a tortilla with cheese and cooked on a griddle with tasty results. In fact, my made-up meals are the ones that we seem to enjoy the most.

4. Be careful while trying "risky" recipes. This is a tough one for someone like me who gets tremendous joy from trying new things. But it is incredibly wasteful to try a new recipe and throw out the whole thing either because you messed up while making it or because it tasted awful. I try to choose recipes where I can predict that we will like them (and that I can make them properly) but it still happens about once a year. Last month, I tried making a burfi recipe for Diwali and it burned and was awful and had to be trashed :(  

5. Consolidate ingredients. The more ingredients you stuff into your kitchen, the higher the likelihood that they will expire or spoil before they are used up, or you will move from that home and trash the lot. After using recipes that called for diced tomatoes, pureed tomatoes, tomato paste and tomato sauce, I now buy only one tomato product- whole canned tomatoes and substitute it for all the other versions. Similarly, buttermilk powder keeps forever in the fridge instead of fresh buttermilk for baked goods and pancakes. If you like cooking from different cuisines, the varieties of oils and rices and spices seem to add up but I try to keep them in check so everything can be used up in a reasonable amount of time.  

6. You can always take seconds. Much is said about the "clean plate club" but I would never ever advocate leaving food on a plate in order to watch what one eats. Why not take smaller servings, eat every last bite and serve yourself some more if you are still hungry? 

7. Don't overeat. This is another waste of food at the most fundamental level, isn't it? 

8. Pause while shopping. The potential for food waste begins the second we buy the food. It is easy to lose control when you are in a food store with its enticing displays, when the word "sale" appears, when food is sold in gigantic bulk quantities that convince you that it is a bargain. But it makes sense to pause right there at the store and really ask- do I need this? Will I use it?  

9. ShareWhen we have friends over for dinner, I hand them empty food containers at the end of the meal and invite them to make themselves a lunch box for the next day. Far from being offended about being offered leftovers, everyone seems to be delighted at taking home extra food and that way it all gets eaten. When we visit friends, they similarly are happy to share leftover food with us. V's colleagues always seem to like it when I send over extra food and baked goods for them.

10. Less than perfect food is still 100% OK to use. You can stir-fry wilted greens and they still taste fine. You can cut the rotting spot off a tomato and still cook the rest. Dried out rice can be revived with a splash of water and a few minutes in a microwave oven or steamer. One has to use common sense and have a working understanding of food safety, but even ingredients that are not shiny and polished like what TV chefs use will result in good eats. 

11. Compost as much as possible. If you cook on a regular basis, a large portion of the trash you generate will be in the form of peels and scrapings of fruits and vegetables- and it is tragic if they end up in a landfill instead of returning to the soil as fertilizer by way of composting. I've had mixed success with this one.

I tried the Bokashi method (anaerobic fermentation) and it was a miserable failure (I can't bring myself to talk about it, it was that wretched, let's just say a lot of maggots were involved)
, most likely because the container I used was not airtight.

However, we have a wonderful community garden nearby and my neighbor happens to be the composting czar there. He has set up large vermicomposting bins there for the community to use (see a pic below). So I collect my kitchen scraps- vegetable peels, stalks, egg shells, tea leaves- in a box in the fridge and go over and dump them in the compost bin every 3-4 days. It has reduced our trash production very significantly. I will never go back to throwing kitchen waste in the garbage destined for the landfill.



12. Be a good role model. I was raised in a home where wasting food was just not the done thing. This had to do with principles and morals, not with any lack of food. All my life, I will rinse out cans of tomato to add to the curry and scrape out the last smidgen of jam with a piece of bread- because it is ingrained into me that this is the right thing to do. Whether we realize it or not, others (especially kids) are watching us and copying our behavior, good or bad.

Do you agree with this list? What would you add to it? What is your own attitude towards food waste?

Edit: Thanks to everyone who wrote thoughtful comments on this post. Here are some of the tips you all shared-


  1. PleaseDoNotFeedTheAnimals: Make a weekly meal planner the day before you go food shopping. 
  2. Amruta: Shop 2-3 times a week.
  3. Namita: If you've cooked too much food, freeze the excess.
  4. Niranjana: Quit the warehouse shopping habit. 
  5. Harini-Jaya: Recycle leftovers into new dishes, like making vegetable cutlets with them. 
  6. Johanna: Get to know the flavors you love so you can focus on them in the kitchen.
  7. Desiknitter: Add stems and stalks (eg. from spinach and cauliflower) to dal instead of discarding them.
  8. Sue: Feed veggie scraps to your free range chickens and meat scraps to your dogs!
  9. Mina: Be grateful for leftovers- it means you have food for a day that has not even dawned yet.
  10. Miri: Plan meals so you can use up the most perishable vegetables (eg. greens) very quickly after buying them.
  11. Anusha: Those little packets of ketchup and sugar in restaurants- use them at home or return them as soon as you are seated so they are not wasted.
  12. Raaga: To keep vegetables from rotting in the crisper, chop them and freeze them while they are still fresh.
  13. Amruta: Check out Shelf Life Advice to maximize usage while minimizing waste.
  14. Angela: Have a "Smörgåsbord" night and enjoy a dinner of leftovers where everyone gets a little bit of everything until the fridge is empty.
  15. Lakshmi: "When we are aware of what we eat, how we cook, and how the food nourishes our body and our soul, we truly respect food and treat it well."
  16. Caffettiera: Prepare a big pantry-cleaning buffet and invite all your friends!
  17. Diane: The 5 minute rule to control impulse buying- When something new and exciting catches your eye while shopping for food, put it down and come back to it after finishing your shopping.

41 comments:

  1. Nupur -- thank you so much for this thoughtful post, especially around holiday time where excess is often encouraged. I would do well to focus on "Pause while shopping", and "Plan meals". Most of our waste comes from not planning, being too tired to shop and cook on a weekday night, and then going out to eat instead.

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  2. Thanks - great advice. In the last year or so, I have started making a meal planner for lunches and dinners for the next 7 days. I clean out my fridge on a Friday night, check what food we have that could be used up, make the menu planner and the shopping list then do the shop on Sat morning. My food waste has plummeted since doing this and my food bills have reduced also. I still have a way to go to improve yet.

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  3. Another lovely post Nupur! I will definitely check if my local library has this book. Sounds very interesting.

    I guess not overcrowding your fridge and freezer is very important. Five years back when I came here and didn't drive, we used to grocery shop once a week and I used to buy a lot of veggies at once. In a first few months I did waste a lot of veggies just because of the fact that they went unnoticed in the fridge, and felt SO awful about it. Thankfully it didn't go on for a long time. I prefer to shop 2-3 times a week and buy veggies only for a couple days. Though rare, it still happens sometimes :(

    I wish I could compost here. Back in India we do compost at home because we have a big garden. But with the little balcony that I have here, the last thing I would want to see is maggots and some weird insects crawling all over :)

    Have a lovely weekend!

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  4. Such a thoughtful post! I have to agree with keeping the fridge clutter free, food gets 'lost' so easily there. Fridays at our house is a leftovers night..we clean out the fridge and make a meal out of what veggies and dals are still in there. I absolutely hate the thought of throwing out perfectly good food. My best friend also taught me to freeze food, so if I have excess cooked, I freeze part of it for later, this has worked well for me.

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  5. YES! I'd also add that quitting the warehouse habit has been beneficial in reducing waste in my house. Costco makes you buy enough to feed an small army each trip.

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  6. Thanks for this wonderful eye-opening post. I truly believe that we should serve ourselves the smallest portion just so we don't end up throwing if we don't like it. I hv grown up in a home where this concept has been greatly encouraged and followed by all. Reg leftovers, if it is not consumed as is, I tend to use it to make another recipe (eg leftover dal/sambar to make chapatis or left over chapatis to make roti upma or leftover vermicelli upma converted into veg cutlets etc). Back home, I used to have a compost pit but unfortunately not so here..How I wish I could do more..

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  7. Hi Nupur,
    Your passion for food is so obvious in the post! All the stated mantras are spot on! Kudos!

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  8. Great post Nupur. Saving food is definitely the need of the hour. I live in Bangalore and believe me we are not very far behind US in food wastage (though during my stay in US, I have seen people walking around with such huge trolleys full of food in stores like COSTCO and have wondered if they might not be wasting more than half of it)! Where I work, I have seen a lot of food being ordered and wasted during client sponsored lunch and dinner meets simply because its 'free'!

    And I loved the bit where you said you rinse out tomatoes from cans. I (and so does my mom and sister) always try to get the last drop of milk from the containers with a little warm water poured in and rinsed out. Somehow my morning cuppa does not feel complete if I don't perform this little step and yes I learnt this from my mom :)

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  9. great post - sounds like an interesting book.

    I have found that with a child who picks at her food, I throw out more food than I ever have in the past and feel quite frustrated at this but where I can I put her leftover vegies into our meals. However I am glad we have a compost bin and I often cook to use what is in the fridge and pantry - though not always.

    I think the skill of substituting ingredients based on what is in your kitchen rather than going out to buy new ones is important - and is helped by getting to know the flavours you love so you focus on them in the kitchen.

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  10. Good list Nupur. Bears repeating to oneself all the time, because like you said, no matter how conscientious we are, we do tend to slip.

    My worst habit has been to let things remain in the fridge and forget about them until they, um, reminded me strongly of their (rotten) existence! So one of the things I did in the flat I just moved to is to buy a small fridge instead of a large, two-door one to force myself to reduce dependence on it. The market is five minutes away and on my way back home from the metro, so am trying hard to inculcate the habit of buying just for a couple of days every time, and keeping the fridge as bare as possible, extending at most to the end of the workweek. Two-three bhajis at most, dahi set every two days and no more, no fresh cooking till leftovers are done. But it's still a WIP!
    I save and use a lot of stems and stalks to regular aamti - pressure cook them with the toor dal. So very little of the cauliflower or palak stems, say, gets wasted. My mum's advice!

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  11. Brilliant post. I have the advantage of living on a farm and all left over veggie scraps go to my chickens, who then provide me with lovely free range eggs. So a real win-win situation.

    As my husband is a meat eater any scraps off his plate go to our dogs, so everyone is happy and the bin stays empty!

    Sue xx

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  12. wonderful and thought provoking !

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  13. What a great post! Some of these tips are things I would never think about.

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  14. A great post. Totally agree with all of the points but one.

    Composting has reduced our trash and bad odors tremendously. I follow precisely your guidelines. I under buy than over buy and there is always some beans or greens or whatever to use up.

    The only part I have a problem with is, eating whatever is served on the plate. I fear obesity and its effects on children when taught to clean up the plate they tend to learn to eat more than they need and stuffing themselves.
    I have spoken with my kids long enough now about this issue that they have learned to server for themselves only what they can eat.

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  15. Excellent and thought provoking post Nupur. I have been a silent follower of your blog for quite a few years now and this post is truly excellent.
    I am diligently working on minimizing food wastage in my house by trying something different and using up my leftover items.Recently,I have been freezing leftovers and that kind of works for me. If there is a lot of left over,I freeze them in smaller portions so we can use it up over next few weeks.But,we still end up trashing food sometimes.
    Your post reminds me of my mom who never ever wastes even a morsel of food just like how you clean up the sauce cans, she will save and eat the next day. Whenever there is any leftovers, my mom always says she feels God has blessed her by giving her food for the next day that has not arrived yet :-) How true :-)
    Thanks for the wonderful post. Will definitely work on minimizing the waste...

    Mina.

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  16. Thank you for the thoughtful post, Nupur.

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  17. bek- I completely understand- especially given what your job is like, working long hard hours!

    Please do not Feed the Animals- What a wonderful routine you've put in place. I do the same but in a less structured way. And yes, food waste is when our own hard-earned money is thrown in the trash so kudos to you for saving both food and money.

    Amruta- Don't be put off by my composting experience- please! There's a lot of potential for indoor apartment composting and I myself will give it another try. I hope you enjoyed your weekend :)

    namita- Love the idea of a leftovers night! It is a nice break from cooking too. Freezing is also a great idea to salvage food when you know you will get bored of eating the same thing for several days.

    niranjana- I've only been to the warehouse stores a couple of times with friends and was in awe of the sizes of containers. To be honest, I was very put off by that vision of excess.

    harini-jaya- I agree, cutlets are a wonderful way to repackage leftovers into a tasty snack that will vanish in minutes!!
    Do look into the composting option- there are ideas out there for small-scale apartment composting too.

    snehal- Thanks!

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  19. Sajitha- Yes, isn't it sad that development and modernization often translates to a more wasteful society? And I wish the excess free food could be given to someone who is hungry.
    Love your milk ritual- these small steps remind us of how precious food is.

    Johanna GGG- I understand- my mom always complained that she was over-eating because she ate the leftovers that my sis and I (both very poor eaters) left on our plates.
    I love what you said, "getting to know the flavors you love" - so true!

    desiknitter- I think that's a wonderful thing to have access to fresh food on your way home from work! Love your principle of not cramming the fridge.
    And as for your idea of using stalks in amti, I am going to do that from now on. Thanks for sharing that little nugget!

    Sue- How wonderful, I love that your scraps are nourishing your animals and then coming full circle to nourish you with fresh eggs.

    Priya Sreeram- Thanks!

    thefirstkitchen- Glad you liked it.

    indosungod- I so agree with you that heaping food on plates, then force-feeding kids and making them feel guilty about not eating every last morsel is terrible. But the solution is to serve yourself less (as you said) then take seconds rather than heap the plate in the first place.
    Kudos to you for composting- you also grow so many veggies!

    Mina- I love your mother's philosophy about leftovers! We who can afford to eat every day need to remind ourselves that food is not to be taken for granted.

    Yogita- Glad you liked it.

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  20. I hate wasting food as well and try to avoid it almost everytime. I am Ok with eating leftovers and Or recycling them

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  21. Excellent post, Nupur. Agreed that overeating and eating for the sake of not having leftovers is disrespect to the nutrition that the food offers, which your body is simply going to expel when consumed in excess.

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  22. Good, very well written and you know what, on returning to India I am noticing that India as it follows west for several other things, she is also drastically following this food wastage phenomenon in the upper layers of the society, luxurious dining and Buffet culture are in now a days and you can see that some people just take too much on their plates because they have paid, not caring about whether they will be able to eat or not. Also super markets are flooding with several varieties of packaged food items and mostly a little damage on the packaging of food items let them get rejected by the customers.

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  23. Thanks for that great thought proving post! I think , as Indians, we tend to try to waste as little as possible - as you say its ingrained from the things we have been brought up with - I still rinse out the milk packets with a little water, and then wash it and keep it away to give to my maid -who sells it to the recycler and makes a little money from it. Rasam is poured into pickle bottles so that the "good bits" sticking to the side don't go waste!

    I try to plan the whole week's menus on Sundays since I finish my weekly shopping on Saturdays. That way, I get the green stuff and veggies like okra and beans out of the way before it is wilted and too mature to eat. Plus I am able to plan balanced meals for all of us - salad for the hubby for lunch everyday, low fibre food for me because I can't digest high fibre food very well; and a mix of healthy breakfast items we eat and some treats for kiddo in her snack box.

    I do remember however, that when I have been in the UK - just looking at the amount of stuff on display makes you want to buy more and more - there is so much choice! Maybe we are better off with the limited choices we have - there's less to buy and less to waste!

    The one thing I would like to do which Iam not doing now, is to Compost - I have seen an outfit which helps with the bin and techniques....that should be my goal for the New Year!

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  24. Wonderful post Nupur! I always make it a point to bring sachets of sugar, ketchups and sauces which are served in restaurants back home and use it (or return them back when being served, when I know I will not be using them). The thing about keeping the fridge uncluttered is so true!

    Anusha

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  25. I so agree with your post. Having been taught very early about not to waste, I still do similar stuff like those you've mentioned. If I'm making kheer with milkmaid, I always pour hot milk back into the tin to make sure the last drop of condensed milk is out. And yes, I offer leftovers in boxes to friends for their lunch the next day. They're grateful for the 30 mins of extra sleep.

    I also chop and freeze veggies in bags to use during the week so that they do not rot in the crisper. And I use up even spoonfuls of leftovers in other dishes... really, does it matter if the taste is a little different from the last time you made the dish :)

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  26. I am so glad to read this article and find someone like minded when it comes to food waste.
    We do have compost bin at home.
    I try to plan whole weeks menu during grocery shopping. So there is absolutely no waste.
    Even my kids have got a hang for how not to waste. Not just food, almost everything :-)

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  27. You are the sweetest, Nupur. My philosophy about food is very similar to yours. Which is probably why I love your blog and all the recipes included.

    Having a minimalist attitude works great both in the kitchen and out. When we are aware of what we eat, how we cook, and how the food nourishes our body and our soul, we truly respect food and treat it well. Then there is no question of wasting food or overeating or eating that kind of food which is not good for you.

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  28. superbly relevant & helpful article, Nupur! Avoidingwastage and being 'green' and topics close to my heart, too.I have a website recommendation for all of us - www.shelflifeadvice.com
    Somewhere along the path toward food safety, we often make a detour toward obsession, and in turn, food wastage.
    But before we blame oursleves, lets not forget the habit instilled by all tjose "Use By" and "Sell by" package label dates.
    The challenge: Maximizing usage while minimizing wastage. This website has tremendous info on
    storing, saving, cleaning, freezing and also clarification of those package date labels.

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  29. My frugal Dutch Mother-in-law introduced me to "Smörgåsbord"night and while it sounds better than "leftover" night that's exactly what it is but it works even with people who claim they don't like leftovers. I don't mind leftovers but sometimes there's not enough for a family meal but too much for one to take to lunch so I put it all out and everyone get just a little of everything. Before you know it your dinner plates is full and the fridge is empty. Success.

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  30. Since we are now empty nesters the bain of my existence is the freezer and my husbands propensity to bring home large quantities of food as he is still not usaed to the kids being away. SO this next years resolution is to only buy what we will eat everyday just to get used to buying small quantities. I hope Dale had an amazing Thanksgiving, he probably wondered why you don't have thanksgiving everyday.

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  31. Wow, that sounds like such a great book and thanks for all the tips. I think we should all follow these truely.

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  32. Such a lovely post. I hope the restaurants out there, throwing tons of food everyday would learn some from this.

    My mom works in the agricultural department and the other day she was explaining how farmers in some markets are throwing fresh tomatoes just becoz they are not getting reasonable prize. that really hit me hard as there are thousands of hungry people out there. :-(.

    We can definitely do out part to reduce food waste. will try to get that book Nupur.

    Happy Holidays.
    Siri

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  33. Great post, and with a lot of interesting comments. I find especially thought provoking the idea of the waste incorporated in the food industry. In Italy you do find very often not-that-perfect looking vegetables, maybe sold a little cheaper. I hate that here all cucumbers and peppers need to have exactly the same size.

    The ideas you put forward are great and I will try to follow them. May I add one? I made it the last time I moved, but it was such a great fun that I think it needs to be done every six months. I made a party inviting a lot of people. To feed them I prepared a buffet. I cleaned my pantry from everything and used whatever I found. I cooked multi grain bread, cereals, pulses and beans in a variety of forms, pasta salads, lasagne etc, I made a few cakes to finish off sugar, dried fruits and flour. Just added in a few fresh vegs and eggs but if I had had also a freezer to clean, I would have provided them using frozen leftovers most likely. There were leftovers, which I packed up for everyone to take home. I spent an happy week end cooking and it was a great party!

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  34. That is a great blog - I've been reading it too and it is inspiring. I've been more aware of my habits with regard to this in the past year. Partly due to reduced work (therefore need for more frugality), but partly just trying to be less wasteful as I think it is wrong.

    I find the following most helpful:
    - empty fridge (as you note above). Keep in there only what I need, and use what I have.

    - "pantry shopping" once or twice a month to reduce buying stuff I already have or don't need.

    - the 5 minute rule. I am a sucker for vegies and am always picking them up out of wild-eyed excitement ("oooh...drumsticks, I can make rasam"; or "oooh...kang kong, I can make that yummy thai dish!"). What I do now is to put it back, walk around do the rest of my shopping, and think about it for 5 minutes, and if I still think I really need it I go back & get it. Over half the time the excitement can be tempered and I don't get it after all.

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  35. Hi Nupur, I had missed this post, what a lovely post, wonderful post which takes every blogger to think for a while about their food waste and what are we doing about it. I too am very cautious while shopping as it is the starting point of waste, I try not to buy veggies when I am not using them within 2 or 3 days, Only time is when I go to Asian shops to buy Indian vegetables I buy my fridge full, as I don't go often and start using from the ones which are going to perish, My greens usually stay for a longer time, So, I love to use Okra first as it gets hardened within a day or two, from past a month in UK they have introduced a caddy bin just for food waste, which has made me more cautious, believe it or not I had only 1 small bin bag in that last week, as I always use the peels of veggies in my cooking, so my waste has become too minimum, Only kids are a bit of problem, have to behind them to eat, (especially my first one), but keep showing them Ads, showing how some of them don't get to eat anything. Usually I know how much my family consume and try to stick to that, left overs always go into fridge and get used the next day. Sometimes they become new recipes too.., Thanks to the lovely shared views and comments very useful too

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  36. That's a lovely and a very useful post Nupur. Most weeks we set aside Thursday as our left-over day - we eat the left overs in the fridge for dinner. It may not be a perfect meal but it surely is satisfying one :-)

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  37. Hi Nupur,
    I think wasting food is a crime no matter which strata of society you belong to.
    I have a very simple policy that works for me every time.

    Do Not Cook Excess!

    I like eating fresh food and I cook daily. I also cook only what is required for my family. If ever I happen to cook excess, I make sure that I cook lesser the next day to finish off the left overs.
    On days when I don't want to cook, there's always an egg sammy that u can make in a jiffy!

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  38. You had me with the title of this post. Though I am against wasting food, quite a lot of times I had to throw away the rotten vegetables, fruits, expired buttermilk, cream, cheese and the list continues. It became more often when my husband got allergic to old products. It was then I started utilizing my freezer efficiently. I stashed all the highly perishable items and stuffs that would expire sooner into my freezer. This way I was able to reduce the wastage. As another reader mentioned I stopped stocking up and visited the store more often.

    I have a tip: If we have leftover vegetables, we can throw them into a pot and make stock out of it. This way we can avoid buying Vegetable stock from store. And we don't have to worry about high sodium content or MSG :)

    Coriander leaves, mint and other herbs wilt faster though they are stored in the refrigerator. I have planned to grow these herbs at home, so that I don't have to worry about those wilting leaves. This will be my next project as soon as we move to our new home.

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  39. What a wonderful post, Nupur. You totally inspired me to clean out my freezer. So i used a solitary tomato and week-old eggs to make your sri-lankan inspired egg curry, and have just mashed up two mealy bananas for your chocolate banana bread. Thanks again.

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  40. Another tip that works for me: we never, never shop when we are hungry. Every chip, dip and condiment looks like a necessity walking down the grocery aisles with an empty stomach.

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