Dana Williamson, Waste Less Solutions
The chill is in the air, the leaves have fallen and soon Christmas lights will be going up, we will start our holiday shopping, then holiday parties with massive amounts of food and we will leave those parties having overeaten, over drank and ready for the next one. Our holidays mean a lot of excess, this also means more food waste than other times of the year.
According to the EPA, during the holidays our food waste at home rises 25%. And given that our waste throughout the year is 40%, that is an alarming statistic. Food waste is not just wasteful, it is also 25% more harmful to our planet than carbon dioxide. Maybe this year we can give the planet a gift and reduce our food waste footprint.
If you are hosting a holiday party this year, here are some ideas from Waste Less Solutions (a local non-profit dedicated to the education, prevention, and diversion of food waste) to help you reduce the amount of food waste that is generated.
· Tell your guests your plans to help the planet and ask them to bring Tupperware to take home leftovers
· Keep it simple; create dishes that use less ingredients or that use some of the same ingredients, for example use orange in your cranberry bread and use the remnants for drinks
· Be ok with running out of some food items, tell your guests about food waste to explain why it is ok to run out
· Use the guest-Imator tool (https://savethefood.com/guestimator) to better judge how much food to make
· Make turkey broth with carcass and veggie scraps or ham and bean soup with your leftover ham bone
· Put smaller trays out and refill more frequently, allowing extra food to stay at the right temperature and safe
· Host a salvaged supper club after the holidays. This is a fun way to continue the celebration while bringing together all you friends/families leftovers to make a new feast. Check out the link for tips on how to host. (https://ivaluefood.com/resources/cooking-eating/how-to-host-a-salvaged-food-dinner-party/)
According to drawdown.org, food waste is the third best solution to reverse greenhouse gases and with these easy tips you will be gifting the planet for the holiday season and for future generations.
For additional tips as well as to learn more about food waste and what you can do to help locally, you can find out more at www.wastelesssolutions.org, or follow Waste Less Solutions on Facebook and Instagram.