The Hamilton Spectator

Reduce food your waste

- – Article provided by Earth Day Canada (

Wondering how to reduce your food waste? Do you find this a difficult challenge? Here are three top tips from Earth Day Canada to help you change your habits, one small step at a time.

Tip #1: Plan your meals for the week in zero-waste mode

Do you sometimes lack the inspiratio­n to vary your meals during the week? If you’re wondering what to add to your grocery basket to cook varied, balanced, and inexpensiv­e menus, here are a few suggestion­s to help you plan your shopping list. Take 4 hours a week to eat better…

Ideally, groceries should only be purchased once a week and a meal preparatio­n session should always be planned for when you return home. If grocery shopping takes about an hour, you could set aside the next three hours to do the prep for the week. Consider cooking up the basics ingredient­s that you will only need to reheat or mix together during your week. It’s a time investment up front, yes, but you’ll recoup that time on the weekday nights when you’re tired. What’s more, you’ll save energy (by using the oven less) and, as a bonus, you’ll do fewer dishes! Your prep could look like this:

• Cook one or two starchy foods

• Grill the wilted vegetables from the previous week

• Marinate the proteins and, if possible, cook them in preparatio­n for the week.

• Trim the vegetables

Tip #2: A grocery list with a hole in it…

2–3 types of fresh fruit 2–3 types of fresh


1–2 types of fresh herbs You could write this on your grocery list. There’s no point in buying too many fresh fruits or vegetables that will go to waste during the week. A good habit to get into is to choose only two to three kinds and buy them according to the bargains and the seasons. That way, you can even buy them in larger quantities and process or store them for later use out of season.

By being more flexible about your buying behaviour, you will be inspired to cook them creatively, avoiding waste.

Tip # 3: Combine one protein per day of the week

Monday: Beef

Tuesday: Lentils

Wednesday: Pork

Thursday: Fish

Friday: Chicken

Saturday: Homemade fast-food Sunday: Vegetarian Have you ever thought of associatin­g each weekday evening with a different protein or menu? Just try the experiment for a month and you’ll be convinced of its effectiven­ess. What’s more, if you are lucky enough to buy a large quantity of meat at a reduced price, you can freeze it in order to stock up. Don’t hesitate to marinate it in advance to simplify a future meal.

Also, plan cooking sessions so there are leftovers that can convenient­ly be used for lunches. Leftover meat or protein makes a great base for a sandwich, salad or pizza.

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