Every year, tons of food ends up in the trash even though it’s still edible. Food waste is a huge problem for the environment and our society. However, as students, we often have limited resources and limited time to properly plan and store food items. In this series of articles, we would like to share with you 8 tips on how to avoid food waste while you are studying.
1. Make a shopping list
Before you go to the grocery store, make a shopping list – having an accurate idea of what you need will help you buy the food you need and prevent overbuying and associated food waste.
2. Shop consciously
When buying food, be mindful of quantity and only buy as much as you actually need. Small package sizes and comparing prices will help here. It’s also worth buying foods that have a longer shelf life, such as pasta, rice and canned vegetables.
3. Store food properly
It’s important to store food properly to extend its shelf life. This includes the correct temperature in the refrigerator and freezer, but also that fruits and vegetables should not be stored together. Food that is close to its expiration date should be used up or frozen immediately.
4. Plan your meals
By planning your meals in advance and buying only what you really need, you can reduce your food spending while avoiding waste.
5. Recycle leftovers
Instead of throwing leftovers in the garbage, you can create new dishes from them, for example, make a delicious soup from leftover vegetables and meat, or take leftovers from the previous day to university for lunch.
6. Take advantage of community opportunities
Participating in cooking workshops, food sharing initiatives and other community outreach efforts can help you reduce food waste with others.
7. Educate yourself about best before dates
It is important to understand the differences between “best before” and “use by” dates and “use by” date Know what to buy to avoid food waste. Some foods can be safely eaten even after the best before date has passed.
8. Be creative
By looking for new recipe ideas, you can use up leftovers and create new dishes. In doing so, creative ideas don’t require expensive ingredients and can be a great way to minimize food waste.
An effective way to avoid food waste: Create a shopping list
As a student, it can be difficult to avoid food waste. Many foods often need to be purchased in bulk, which can quickly overload your refrigerator. To combat this problem, make a shopping list before you go shopping.
Not only does the grocery list help ensure you buy all the food you need, it also helps avoid excess purchases. You should write down on the list only what you actually need and regularly checking and updating the list will help to avoid buying food that is already available.
When you make a grocery list, you should also make sure to accurately calculate the amount of food needed. You should plan in advance what meals you will eat during the week so that you don’t buy unnecessary items. It’s also a good idea to prioritize seasonal foods, as they tend to be cheaper and fresher.
- Make a shopping list of the foods you need
- Be sure to price it accurately
- Plan meals in advance to avoid excess food
- Give preference to seasonal foods
By creating a grocery list, you can not only save money, but also help reduce food waste. With proper planning, you can ensure that all the food you buy is actually used up.
Better safe than sorry: check your supplies regularly
If you want to avoid food waste in college, you really need to pay attention to all the details. One of the most important factors in doing this is controlling your supplies. You should treat your kitchen like a warehouse and check your stock regularly to make sure everything is in order.
It is also important that you store your supplies properly. Many foods need to be stored in a cool, dry place. Make sure you don’t store food for too long and that you always check it for shelf life.
Another important tip is to buy the right amount of food. Don’t buy too much at once and make sure you don’t buy more than you really need. If you are cooking just for yourself, buy smaller portions and avoid large packages that can spoil easily.
- Check your supplies at least once a week.
- Sort out foods that will soon spoil and use them first.
- Food that has already been opened should be used within a reasonable amount of time.
- Label all food with the date you bought or opened it.
Ultimately, it’s about being conscious and taking time to pay attention to what we buy and how we store it. By regularly checking our supplies and making conscious choices to live sustainably, we can avoid food waste in college and do ourselves some good in the process.
Avoid food waste: Tip 3 – Cook in larger quantities
One way to avoid food waste in college is to cook in larger quantities. If you’re cooking just for yourself, it can be difficult to calculate the perfect amount of food to use. This can lead to overcooking and ending up with food that gets thrown away.
By cooking in larger quantities, you can not only save time, but also be more efficient with your food. For example, you can cook larger portions and freeze the food to defrost and enjoy later.
Another option is to save leftovers from the day before and reuse them the next day. Often you can even make a new dish out of it. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also save resources.
- Pro-tip: if you cook in larger quantities, you can also invite friends or roommates over and cook together. This will make eating out more fun right away and you’ll rarely have anything left over.
So, don’t be afraid of big pots and pans – try it out and feel free to cook in larger quantities to avoid food waste!
Store your food properly to avoid waste
One of the easiest ways to avoid food waste is to store food properly. Certain foods need certain storage and temperature to keep them longer.
A few simple tips can help extend the shelf life of food:
- Vegetables should not be left at room temperature for long – it’s best to store them in the refrigerator
- Meat and fish should always be kept well packed in the refrigerator
- Dairy products should always be kept in the refrigerator, but not exposed to direct light
- Store food in tightly sealed containers
- For fresh fruits and vegetables, however, it is better to use paper bags or towels
- Do not buy too much at once to avoid unnecessary leftovers
By storing your food properly, you can extend shelf life and avoid waste.
5. Also use expired food
When you go grocery shopping, make sure you buy products with a long expiration date. But sometimes you may have food at home that has already expired. This does not always mean that they are no longer edible.
Fruits and vegetables can often still be used if they have become a bit mushy and soft. Just cut off the bad parts and cook it or process it into a smoothie or soup.
Dairy products such as yogurt or cottage cheese can still be eaten after they have expired. As long as they still smell good and are not moldy, they are usually still edible. You can put them in a dessert like e.g. Tiramisu or turn into a dressing for salad.
- Always check that the expired food still smells and looks good
- Cut off the bad or mushy parts
- Use it in a recipe that can still handle it
By also using food that is past its sell-by date, you can help reduce food waste!