Easy Ways Frozen Food can Reduce Food Waste and Save Money
With Frozen Food Month on the mind, we can’t help but think about the many benefits of buying frozen foods, including that it can reduce food waste. More food than we’d like to admit routinely gets tossed in the trash. In fact, 40 percent of all food produced in the United States is discarded. Twenty percent of the food we buy is never eaten*.
What we’re throwing away in our own kitchen garbage can is the largest source of food waste. According to the National Resources Defense Council, each of us discards approximately 300 pounds of food a year. Three. Hundred. Pounds.
So, what exactly do we toss?
- 50% of the seafood we buy
- 48% of our fruits and vegetables
- 38% of our grain products
- 22% of the meat we purchase
- 20% of our milk
The overall effects of food waste are staggering. On the economy, it equates to about $218 billion of food lost each year. On the environment, food waste is the number one component found in America’s landfills. And on American families, a family of four throws away as much as $2,200 worth of uneaten food each year.
Frozen Foods to the Rescue
What can we change so we throw out less? This Food Waste Infographic shows how frozen foods can be the key to turning around the consumer food-waste trend.
Frozen foods are a good investment in that they can save the average family money, while also providing convenience, quality, innovative tastes and ease in food preparation.
- When you buy frozen fruits and veggies, the shelling, seeding and cutting are already done. You are paying for 100% edible food.
- Save money by using only what you need and putting the rest back in the freezer for next time.
- Many frozen foods are perfectly-portioned so there’s no waste.
- Frozen fruits and vegetables are consistently priced and always in season. And they retain just as many if not more nutrients than fresh.
- Freezing technology and eco-friendly packaging keep frozen foods fresher longer, providing a much longer shelf life and less waste.
Here are some tips to help reduce food waste in your home:
- Plan ahead and buy less. Assess what you already have. Make a meal plan and grocery list before shopping. Stick to it (and be sure to include frozen foods!) – it will help you bring home just what you need, avoiding impulse, large quantity and unnecessary food purchases.
- Donate extra food to a local food bank or shelter – it makes sense to give your excess food to others who need it.
- Be creative with your leftovers and re-imagine them in delicious ways.
Here are a Few Creative Ways to Use up Your Leftovers
- This Leftover Turkey Crescent Bake can help you use up that leftover turkey – especially during the holidays!
- Don’t know what to do with leftover asparagus and breads? Try this delicious European Asparagus Strata and serve for breakfast, brunch (or even dinner)!
- Did you ever buy too many pie crusts and end up with one left over? Here is a great Pie Crust Nacho recipe to make sure that extra pie crust doesn’t go to waste.
- Leftover ham? Check out this recipe for delicious Ham Pot Pie…easy and quick to prepare using ham, cheese, and frozen veggies.
- If you always make too many mashed potatoes, you can use up the extra in this Chili Dog Potato Casserole!
How do you use leftovers to help reduce food waste?