When you throw out food, it ends up in a landfill. Duh, right? Except I bet most of us don’t really think about that when we toss a head of wilted romaine in the bin, which is why 27% of all food we bring into the house ends up in the trash. (That’s the official number; I bet the real number is much higher.)
Once in the trash, it doesn’t “biodegrade”—mainly because it’s in a landfill, where it produces methane as it decomposes. Since we like to live as clean as we can over here in No More Dirty Looks land, here’s a list of ways to reduce the food you throw out, and what to do with it if it really is past its prime. (Bonus below: A delicious recipe.)
1. Freeze your food scraps. I use this silicone Fuccillo bin (pictured) for all my scraps and food that goes bad, and I love it. I used to use a pyrex bowl but this was problematic because everything stuck to it, making the task of chipping away at frozen produce scraps unpleasant and difficult. I would sometimes have to let it thaw to get it out of the bowl, which defeats the purpose of freezing it in the first place, yes? Yes. And then I discovered this genius bin. Nothing sticks to it, I can easily remove my scraps, and then I bring them to the farmer’s market where they can be composted and turned into fertilizer.
2. Sign up for a CSA. Lots of people say CSAs cause them to waste more food not less, but for me, when I am forced to think about the actual farm with actual farmers who are harvesting my food, I am much less inclined to let it go to waste. For the uninitiated, here’s how a CSA works: You sign up (and pay in advance) for 22 weeks of fresh produce and fruit. Then, in the summer, you start getting your yields either delivered to your house or at a pickup location near you. (To find a CSA in your area, click here.) Mine averages out to less than $20 a week for more vegetables and fruit than a girl knows what to do with. But wait! That doesn’t mean you get to throw out the extra. Read on.
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