Recommendations to avoid food loss at home and save money

International Food Loss and Waste Awareness Day finds the world facing rising hunger, natural disasters and other factors that tend to make food more expensive.

One idea is that each person sees in their homes what is wastedwhich otherwise costs you money, let your imagination run wild with a menu that you can take advantage of.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Food Program (UNEP) promote actions to reduce food loss and waste, but individually it is healthy to create mechanisms in households.

The latest FAO report on "The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI"), ensures that the number of people affected by hunger increased to 828 million in 2021about 46 million since 2020 and 150 million since 2019. “In total, it is estimated that 3.1 billion people do not have access to a healthy diet.”

Similar to the FAO report on the State of Food and Agriculture (2019), around 14% of global food production (valued at USD 400 billion annually) continues to be lost after being harvested and before reaching food production. stores or supermarkets and UNEP says that 17% of food ends up being wasted in retail and by consumers, especially in homes.

Given this reality, focused on households, we summarize some of the recommendations that the FAO and UNEP have for families to avoid this waste, making better use of food products.

In the Dominican Republic, where it is estimated that 1.1 million kilos of food are wasted weeklyit is customary to see families with carts full of food products, since their purchases are made in large quantities, which makes it easier for fresh products such as vegetables and fruits to tend to change their appearance and end up in the garbage.

Among the recommendations is buying only what is necessary, not throwing away the vegetables because they do not seem fresh, and preparing a weekly menu.

We reproduce verbatim 15 recommendations

1-Adopt a healthier and more sustainable diet

Life moves fast, and preparing nutritious meals can be tricky, but healthy meals don’t have to be fancy. The Internet abounds with healthy and quick recipes that you can share with your family and friends.

2. Buy only what you need

Plan your meals. Prepare a shopping list and stick to it by avoiding impulse purchases. Not only will you waste less food…You’ll also will save money.

3. Choose ugly fruits and vegetables

Don’t judge food by its appearance. Bruised or oddly shaped fruit and vegetables are often thrown away because they fail to meet arbitrary cosmetic standards. Don’t worry… the taste is the same. use the fruit mature to prepare smoothies, juices and desserts.

Four. Store food sensibly

Move the oldest products to the front of the cabinet or refrigerator and place the new ones in the back. Use airtight containers to keep fresh in the fridge Open foods and be sure to close packages to keep out bugs.

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5. Understand food labeling

There is a lot of difference between the “best before” and “use by” dates. Sometimes foods are still safe to eat past the “best before” date, while the “use by” date indicates when it is no longer safe to eat. Check food labels to find out if they contain unhealthy ingredients like trans fats and preservatives and avoid foods with added sugar or salt.

6. start small

Serve smaller portions at home or share larger plates at restaurants.

7. Value leftovers

If you don’t eat everything you make, freeze it for later or use leftovers as an ingredient in another meal.

Buy ugly fruit and vegetables or use leftovers for other meals These are two positive customs to avoid food loss and waste.

8. Make use of wasted food

Instead of throwing food scraps in the trash, compost them. This way you will return nutrients to the soil and reduce your own carbon footprint.

9. Respect food

Food connects us all. Reestablish the connection with food knowing about the production process involved. Read up on food production and meet nearby farmers.

10. Support local food producers

By buying local produce, you support family farmers and small businesses in your community. It also contributes to the fight against pollution, reducing the distances that trucks and other vehicles travel in delivery.

11. Keep fish stocks afloat

Consume fish species that are more abundant, such as mackerel or herring, before others that are in danger of being overfished, such as cod or tuna. Buy fish that has been caught or farmed sustainably, such as fish with an organic label or certificate.

12. Use less water

We cannot produce food without water. Although it is important for farmers to use less water to grow food, reducing food waste also saves all water resources employed in its production. Reduce your water use in other ways: fix leaks or turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth.

13. Keep floors and water clean

Some household waste is potentially dangerous and should never be disposed of in a general waste bin. Items such as batteries, paint, mobile phones, medicines, chemicals, fertilizers, tires or ink cartridges can seep into our soil and our water supply, harming the natural resources with which our food is produced.

14. Eat more legumes and vegetables

Try to eat once a week a meal based on legumes or “old” grains such as quinoa.

15. Sharing is caring

Donate food that would otherwise go to waste. For example, through apps, neighbors can connect with each other and with local businesses so that surplus food can be shared and not thrown away.

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