at the farmers market and pick up some beautiful
raspberries. But you donít store them properly, and
two days later theyíre a moldy mush in the fridge.
youíve wasted money and had to put them in the
garbage. Itís a sad feeling, but a very common
problem. The Food and Drug Administration said Americans
toss 20 pounds of food per person per month, the
equivalent of trashing $165 billion annually. Organic
waste, which is mostly food, is the second-biggest
component of landfills, and landfills are the
third-largest source of methane emissions, a major
factor in global warming.
smarter. A few simple steps can cut down on food waste.
If you can, plan meals and follow recipes that allow you
to use the purchased ingredients multiple times in a
week, said Callie Babbitt, associate professor, Golisano
Institute for Sustainability at Rochester Institute of
it right. Joel Gamoran, national chef for Sur La Table
said to store veggies properly as soon as you get home
to extend their life. He likes storage units that
include removable baskets with perforated, elevated
bottoms, such as the GreenSaver by Oxo (starting at
$14.99 for 1.6 quart, www.oxo.com). These keep produce
from touching the containerís base.
not sitting in its own juices, and air can get around.
Those are huge for food storage, and it makes a monster
difference," he said.
herbs in a container in the fridge with their stems in
water, like flowers in a vase. That keeps them hydrated,
said Jennifer Johnson, owner of Witnessing Nature In
Food, an organic catering firm in Scottsdale, Arizona.
high-end refrigerators, like Sub-Zero, use air
purification systems to remove ethylene gas that hastens
food spoilage. They also remove bacteria, mold and
viruses. ($6,995, www.subzero-wolf.com)
youíve used just half an onion or bell pepper, wrap
those tightly. Air is the enemy for cut produce since it
causes food to deteriorate, Gamoran said. Instead of
using disposable plastic wrap, one option is Tovoloís
new Seal and Store, resealable, airtight food-storage
containers (set of three, $15.99,
of air, baked goods become stale sitting on the counter
or drying out in the fridge. Vacuvita ($299,
www.amazon.com) vacuum-seals a variety of foods. The
home base is large enough to store a loaf of bread and
other baked goods. The system also has freezer bags as
well as small, sturdy containers for use in the fridge,
and everything can be vacuum-sealed to prolong life. A
free app gives alerts on food shelf life.
youíre lucky enough to get an abundance of produce, or
your produce is starting to turn, consider dehydrating,
Johnson said. She said she often dehydrates fruit for
healthy snacks. Popular dehydrators include Excaliburís
nine-tray dehydrator, ($299.95,
are going to eat that, right? You meant to eat those
carrots, but now theyíre limp. Or those herbs are
tired. Donít throw them away. As long as the produce
isnít leaching water, it can be turned in a soup or
sauce, Gamoran and Johnson said.
blender is your buddy to make effortless soups and
sauces, they said, whether itís an immersion blender
or a countertop machine. The newest immersion blend from
Braun, MultiQuick 9, comes with several attachments,
including a whisk, 1.5-cup chopper and other
accessories. ($199, www.braunhousehold.com)
is kind of the key to unlocking a lot of food waste. The
lettuces, the wilted herbs, no oneís going to know the
difference if itís blended together and a really
smooth soup or sauce. So itís always a good
trick," he said.
get that last bit of ketchup or honey out of a jar, the
Flip-It! cap ($16.99 for a four-piece set,
www.walmart.com) stabilizes upside-down jars, so you can
get out that last bit of the condiment before recycling
itís too late. Even when we have the best of
intentions, sometimes food goes bad. Rather than
throwing moldy produce in the trash, Babbitt, Gamoran
and Johnson advocate composting. New units like the
Joseph Josephís Stack 4 food composter ($30,
www.josephjoseph.com) reduce food-waste smells through
ventilation that circulates air inside the caddy. And it
household composting systems are relatively easy to Ö
maintain," Babbitt said.