Wellness Club — Make Every Day Earth Day
Abingdon, VA. -
Thursday, Apr 1, 2021.
Written by: Elizabeth Hall, MS, RDN, LDN, Food City Registered Dietitian
Earth Day is April 22! What exactly does that have to do with food and nutrition? Well, it takes precious resources to produce the nourishing foods needed to sustain life on earth. Helping to reduce the amount of wasted food is one way we all can be a part of a sustainable food production process. Reducing food waste means less food would find its way into landfills, where it would have been contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.
Here are some things you can do to minimize food waste:
Use measuring cups and spoons
Measuring your foods and managing portion sizes can help promote less food waste as well as help with weight management and ensure you are getting the right amount of nutrients for your body.
Shop your fridge, freezer, or pantry first
Use what you have on hand to plan meals for the week. With a little planning and a grocery list, you can make sure you are buying what you need, rather than excess food that could end up in the trash. You could also get creative and turn your leftovers into a tasty meal so you avoid throwing food out.
In the freezer, you can safely store food for long periods of time when you know you won’t eat it right away. Freeze leftovers within 3-4 days after cooking. Remember to use freezer bags or freezer-appropriate containers and freeze in individual portion sizes for convenient reheating. Keep in mind that fruits and vegetables may require blanching before freezing. Blanching stops the action of enzymes that ripen produce and removes microorganisms from surfaces as well.
Conserve when you can
You can also support the earth by doing your part to conserve natural resources when you can by eating more plant-based, sustainable crops that add vital nutrients back into the earth’s soil and watching your portion sizes of animal proteins that tend to use more resources in production. All foods can fit into a sustainable eating pattern. Focusing on balance and moderation is a way that you can keep our food system sustainable and protect the planet.