March marks National Nutrition Month, a month dedicated to focusing attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. This week we have Kelsey Munn, RD, CDN, CLC, Whitney Young Health’s WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator discuss how to stop being so wasteful when it comes to food.
Food. We all need it. We all enjoy it. And unfortunately, we all waste it as well. 1 out of every 3 calories produced is wasted, which has been estimated to equal 1.3 billion metric tons of food every year.
But how does this affect us? And how can we change it? A first step should be, attacking Food Waste at home. Residencies throw away almost 44% of the Food Waste annually – even more than restaurants with unsold meals. So what can you do to decrease the amount of food waste that your family produces?
1. Bring a list to the grocery store
How often do you go to the grocery store and buy only what you needed this week? Rarely. By going to the store with a set list of 20 items you are more likely to save yourself money, time, and unhealthy calories later! By organizing your list into different sections of the grocery store (Produce, Meats, Seafood, Dairy, Frozen, Canned, Condiments), you are less apt to pick up other random foods as you wander through the aisles.
2. Meal Plan
When you sit down once a week and plan what will be for major meals this week, you are less likely to pick up “quick fixes” at the grocery store. This also can be a great exercise to get your children involved in making family decisions. Help your family eat healthy for a good price by organizing meals with the MyPlate. Make sure to include foods that are already in your pantry and freezer so you can use your resources before they expire.
Visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s website to learn more about meal planning!
3. Shop Locally
In the Capital District we are extremely lucky to have so many Farmer’s Markets that are open year-round! The Veggie Mobile by Capital Roots, Empire State Plaza, Schenectady Greenmarket, and the Troy Riverfront all have local farmers selling fruits, vegetables, dairy, and meats.
Check out their websites below for schedules and locations closest to you:
4. Store Food Correctly
Fruits and vegetables emit gasses that make them ripe faster depending on where they are stored. Did you know bananas should never be put in the fridge? Or that tomatoes ripen best when on the counter? See the diagram below for more information on how store your fruits and veggies properly!
So how are you going to help decrease Food Waste today? You can also call Whitney Young Health at (518) 465-4771 to make an appointment with Kelsey Munn, RD, CDN, CLC to get on the right track today!
For more information on my resources, follow the links below: