So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Ephesians 5:15-16 NLT
Did you know that a recent government study estimated that about 1 pound of edible food is thrown out for each man, woman and child in the US each day? In 2010, 33 million tons od food waste was generated in the US - second only to paper waste in the landfills.
Thant's a staggering amount, especially considering that 5% of that wasted food could feed an additional 4 million people each day!
Simple changes in the ways we buy, store and prepare food, can cut the amount of food waste generated each year.
Here's some ideas to get you started:
- When shopping, we buy economy packages of meat which I divide and freeze into meal-sized portions as soon as I get home. By cooking only what we need, we don't waste as much.
- If I have leftovers, we eat them for lunch the next day. If there are too many leftovers, I make TV dinners from the leftover portions. These are great for evenings when I don't have time to cook a hot meal or for Dear Hubby (DH) if I need to go to take care of the grandkids.
- Sometimes I will put the leftover meat and veggies into a freezer container When it's full, I have enough to make a nice batch of broth or cream based soup.
- There are only 2 of us at home now, but DH still likes an occassional piece of cake for dessert. So I bake a cake and cut it into individual portions, freezing what we won't eat. Later we can pull out one piece at a time which satisfies the sweet tooth and keeps us from throwing out half a stale cake.
- There's often tons of leftovers at church dinners, including coffee. The coffee can be frozen in ice cube trays and stored in gallon plastic freezer bags. Take out a few cubes and nuke them for a minute for a single cup of coffee without making a whole pot. It's as good as instant coffee.
Several years ago, my sister-in-law gave me over a bushel of pears - tiny pithy ones that were too hard to peel and can. So I made a yummy pear butter from them rather than throw them out.
Recently I came home from a picnic with several bags of sandwich buns. They had been frozen once and would get dried out too much if refrozen, so they were headed to the landfill. I broke them into pieces, added seasonings, onions and celery, then baked a large batch of stuffing which I cut into meal-sized portions to serve with some frozen chicken breasts I had. Yummy!
One of our local markets occasionally gives away over-ripe bananas. When I get the chance, I take several bunches and freeze them to make large batches of banana bread later.
While I wish I could say I never wasted anything, over the past few years I have tried to be wiser about using my resources. I love finding new and creative ways to reduce, reuse and recycle food items as well as other things.
Lord help me to apply these lessons to all areas of my life - to be wiser and less wasteful in the use of my time, money and talents as well as with our food! Amen.