- Plan your meals and shop wisely to avoid food waste
Planning your meals is one of the most effective ways to reduce food waste and also your bills. Write down a shopping list based on the meals you would like to have and make sure you check carefully what’s in your fridge and kitchen cupboads before heading to the grocery store.
In case you have no experience with meal planning, here are some of the best meal-planning apps for 2019, available on IOS and Android.
- Be smart about food storage and preservation
Being smart about food storage and preservation are crucial for reducing food waste. Food that will be consumed within a few days can be stored in sealed glass containers in fridges. Herbs can be stored on the counter with their stems in drinking water. Most foods can be frozen before they spoil, especially fruits (chop them so that they are ready for smoothies) and even greens (you can make spinach ice cubes for your smoothies).
In Vietnam, grains can attract bugs very easily, so make sure they are tightly packed and keep your nuts in the fridge.
- Don’t look for perfect-looking foods
Side-by-side comparison, “pretty” foods and “ugly” foods are not that much different when it comes to taste and nutrition. Tossing edible foods away doesn’t just waste money and the resources needed to produce them; discarded foods end up in landfills and produce methane gas which is 28 times more harmful than CO2. In other words, throwing away edible foods massively impact our environment.
- Be creative with your leftovers
When planning meals, think about what the leftovers could be turn into. If you have a busy lifestyle, prepare more vegetables than you actually need for dinner, then use the leftovers in soups or salads. Here you can learn 15 delicious ways to enjoy all your leftover vegetables. Planning can help you save you a lot of time and money, and will reduce your kitchen waste.
- Donate food
Vietnam wastes huge volume of foods. Annually, millions of tons of foods on the supply side are discarded, and this is due to poor preservation and transport conditions, according to CEL Consulting Vietnam. Vietnam annually wastes 694,000 tons of meat, 7 million tons of fruits and vegetables, and 805,000 tons of seafood. In addition, 168 millions of bananas, 11,000 pigs and 139,000 chickens can’t reach customers each day. Culturally, preparing more food than needed is considered a sign of hospitality and generosity, and this is true for restaurants too, and although Vietnamese people are used to keeping leftovers, nearly haft is forgotten in the fridge.
This is why Food Bank Vietnam was established. This charity fights food waste in Vietnam. According to project founder Khoi, “More than 5,000 meals are provided each month to 10 places sheltering the homeless, many of them children. We have gradually collected the food from five suppliers in HCM City”. In the future, “Mobile Food Banks” and “Food Bank Eateries” will be developed in order to receive or donate free food. That’s great news, however each of us can donate food the old fashion way by sharing with friends, family and neighbours.