It’s estimated that approximately 40% of all foods in the U.S. is wasted, annually! The loss accumulates throughout the distribution system, from the point of production to the regular household fridge. Here’s an excerpt from a great article sharing a few tips on how to be more conscientious with the food we produce and use.
- · Shop wisely. Plan your meals and use a shopping list. For recipe and meal ideas, check out the online resources atwww.ndsu.edu/eatmsmart. Click on “For Parents/Caregivers” to see more grocery shopping tips, shopping lists and economical recipes. Become a “Facebook friend” to get regular tips and video recipes.
- · Know what the dates on the packages mean. Certain foods, such as baby food, “expire” and shouldn’t be used past a particular date. “Best if used by” indicates quality not necessarily safety, and you can use the food for a while beyond the date as long as it has been kept in the appropriate storage conditions.
- · A “sell-by” date is meant for the store, which shouldn’t sell the product past that date. However, you still can use the food at home. For more information about food storage, including suggested storage times for a wide range of foods, see the “Food Storage Guide” atwww.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/yf/foods/fn579.pdf.
- · Don’t overlook imperfect produce. Just because vegetables aren’t photo-ready doesn’t mean they are inedible. Be willing to purchase and use fruits and vegetables with variations in size, shape or color. Dark bananas make good banana bread!
- · Freeze unused ingredients or leftover food. Use moisture-proof, tightly sealed containers. Find out how to freeze a wide variety of foods by checking out the “Food Freezing Guide” at www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/yf/foods/fn403.pdf.