Every. Single. G-Dang day I am made more and more aware of how much stuff I actually throw away. I was first made aware of this the first time I moved into my own apartment and had to take out my own trash for the first time. It was gross, it smelled, and I did not personally enjoy schlepping the entire soggy bag down flights of stairs into a dumpster that was a block away. Not only did I thoroughly resent taking the trash out, I thoroughly hate throwing food away. It was something that happened a lot in my childhood, and something that I hated doing even more as an adult.
I know. I know. I sound ridiculous, but just because throwing stuff away has become normalized in our society, doesn’t mean that it is right, and every time I do throw food out I think of how many people could have made a meal with that instead of just letting it rot.
To settle what perhaps was my most infuriating thing about myself and my American upbringing, I called upon my Zero Waste darlings and “cool French girl” lovelies to help me troubleshoot and teach me what I have been doing wrong my entire life regarding food shopping. And you know what I learned? That I had been doing everything else wrong consequently for my entire life. Not really, but I love how much we can learn from one another if we just ask.
So if you are like me, and absolutely loathe throwing so much food away because you are constantly aware of how much you waste and how much things like good food and fresh produce every g-dang day is a luxury then continue to read below.
Decrease your refrigerator size. Just kidding. Europeans, a lot of the time, have smaller refrigerators and thus cannot store a ton of food like we do; instead, they stock up on a meal by meal basis or will plan a few meals out instead of buying food for a week or two weeks.
In case you didn’t realize where this is going, you are going to be going to the grocery store/farmers market a lot more. However, by planning out your meals a little bit better this can potentially save you a ton of time, and a ton of money.
Stick to the perimeter. Grocery stores are typically set up with fresh produce · meats · dairy · bread and the like along the perimeter of the store. If you purchase these items, rather than frozen and boxed shadoobie then you will not only be eating much healthier, you will be buying less because you don’t want it to go bad. Again, refer to step 1 (meal by meal basis).
Quality vs. Quantity. How much of your food ends up in the trash? Is it mostly the fresh produce? That’s what it is for me personally, this means that when making meals I am more than likely skipping out on those quality means for processed or veggie-less meals. Instead, stop buying the crap you snack on constantly, and eat your greens.
Fresh foods are the best foods. I know personally, I love every time we use fresh veggies in a meal or whip up a yummy pasta sauce or ratatouille by hand instead of buying pre-made foods in the store. We have it as a luxury to be able to buy whatever we want whenever we want, but at what cost?
Grocery shopping and eating like this includes a daily ritual that involves walking, eating smaller portions, and savoring meals that will nourish your bodies and won’t end up rotting in the trash. All of these practices are conducive to a healthy lifestyle, weight maintenance, and nutrition, I mean there is a reason America is overweight. We stopped caring about our food and take no pleasure in it. Ugh, I sound so preachy right now!
I really am not trying to be, but I do really care about this and have sort of made it my goal of 2018. Waste less! So far I have been trying it out and Morgan and I are really enjoying it. Last night we made Buddha Bowls and used a bunch of fresh produce. We even have leftovers for tonight so that works perfectly, and so far…zero waste!
Let me know what you think, do you have tips or tricks to eating better, shopping better, wasting less? I feel like we can all learn so much from one another this year.