Food waste is a severe problem that affects the environment, the economy, and society. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that an estimated one-third of the food produced for human consumption is lost as waste globally at a staggering amount of about 1.3 billion tonnes per year. This means millions of people are going hungry while tons of food are being thrown away. Food waste is envisaged to contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, water pollution, and land degradation.
Significant causes of food waste are overbuying and overstocking groceries, especially during the festive season, when people buy more food than they need or can consume. This leads to food spoilage, expiration, and disposal. However, there are ways to avoid food waste and donate excess groceries to charity, which can benefit the environment and society. Here are some tips on how to do that:
Plan your meals and make a shopping list using the online flyer from Food Basics, whose foodstuffs are categorically placed to help you purchase only the essential items for your meal plans. Before going to the grocery store, plan what you will cook and eat for the week, and list the necessary ingredients. This will assist you in avoiding buying foodstuffs unnecessarily on impulse and, therefore, save money and time.
Buy only what you need and can store it properly. When you are at the grocery store, stick to your shopping list and buy only what you need and can store adequately. Only buy large quantities of perishable items, such as fruits, vegetables, dairy, and meat, if you are sure you can use them before they go bad. You can also look for products with a longer shelf life, such as frozen, canned, or dried foods. Ensure you store your groceries properly, following the instructions on the labels or the packaging.
Use your leftovers and excess ingredients creatively. If you have leftovers or excess ingredients from your meals, do not throw them away. You can use them to create new dishes, such as soups, salads, sandwiches, casseroles, or stir-fries. You can also freeze them for later use or share them with your family, friends, or neighbours.
Donate your excess groceries to charity. If you have excess groceries you cannot use or store, keep them from going to waste. You can donate them to charity, where they can be used to feed people in need. Many organizations and programs, such as food banks, soup kitchens, shelters, and schools, accept food donations.
By following these tips, you can avoid food waste and donate excess groceries to charity, which can positively impact the environment and society. You can also save money, time, and space and enjoy a more satisfying and healthy festive season.