Here’s some food for thought: 60% of the food produced in Canada (around 35.5 million tonnes) is wasted every year. The kicker? 32% of that waste is actually edible food. That means we’re throwing out 11.2 million tonnes of perfectly good food that could have been avoided.
While Canadians throw out all kinds of foods—most of which could have been avoided—there are some we tend to waste more than others (RIP bread). In this post, we uncover the 8 foods we waste the most and how to save them from the bin.
Canadians waste a staggering 2,400,000 potatoes every single day, which is baffling since potatoes are some of the most versatile (and delicious) vegetables with an incredibly long shelf life—3-5 weeks in the pantry and 3-4 months in the fridge. Just make sure to store them in a cool dark place away from onions so they don’t grow sprouts (this will help prolongate their shelf life).
Did you know almost 900,000 tonnes of bread are wasted globally every year? That’s the equivalent of 7.5 CN Towers! Some of the biggest culprits of bread waste include buying too much and poor storage. And to this we say: only buy what you need and never keep bread in the fridge since low temperatures extract moisture and speed up staleness. The best would be to store it in a muslin bread bag at room temp. Though despite proper storing, sometimes getting stuck with a few dry leftover slices is inevitable. So here’s what to do about it.
It doesn’t matter how many times we’ve cooked rice, somehow we always wind up with leftovers. A quick fix is to always measure your rice for the correct portions to avoid leftovers in the first place. But if you’re currently stuck with uneaten cooked rice, the struggle then becomes what to make of the extras.
Lucky for you, plain steamed leftover rice (brown or white) is one of the easiest ingredients to use up because its bland flavour can be paired with virtually any other savoury ingredient for a fabulous new meal.
A new study from Karlstad University in Sweden reports that bananas are one of the most wasted foods and contribute to the most food waste in terms of weight and environmental impact. We get it—bananas go from yellow to overripe in a flash. But that doesn’t mean they’re destined for the garbage. The next time you’re at the supermarket, buy a few single bananas with varying degrees of ripeness instead of choosing a bunch. That way they’ll ripen at different speeds giving you more time to eat them. If ever you’re stuck with overripe bananas, try these quick fixes.
Despite the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” Canadians still manage to waste 1,225,000 apples per day. To make them last longer, store them in a cool, dark place like the crisper drawer in your fridge—that is, unless you’re planning on eating them in the next 3 days, in which case you can keep them on your counter.
If you’ve got too many apples than you can handle or have a small bunch that have grown bruised and mushy, you can still make the most of them with these food-waste kitchen hacks.
Leafy greens like spinach and kale are vegetables that contain high humidity, which contributes to them wilting faster. To prevent your leafy greens from wilting prematurely, wrap them in a moist tea towel or cloth. This will help the leaves keep their moisture, so they stay crisp and last longer in the fridge. But if you’re past that stage and already have a few sad-looking greens on your hands, there are a few things you can do.
Milk can be tricky sometimes. You want to buy enough for all your recipes, but you don’t want to buy too much so that it doesn’t go bad in the fridge. So when you wind up with the latter, you need to find ways to quickly use it up or else risk pouring it down the drain along with your money. Here are a few tips and ticks on how to use up that extra milk quickly.
Cheese is one of the few dairy products that lasts a long time. Yet somehow, it’s still one of the most wasted foods, with 3.1 million slices of cheese thrown away daily. Not only is it a lot of unnecessary food waste, but it’s also a waste of resources if you think of how much energy, water, time, and money goes into producing cheese. You have to care for the livestock, process the milk, transport the cheese and distribute it to stores—all of which increase our carbon footprint, contributing to climate change.
But there are actions you can take to help cut down on CO2—and it starts by saving your perfectly good leftover cheese from the bin using these simple zero-waste solutions.
Help divert perfectly good surplus food from our landfills with the FoodHero app. With over 60,000 surplus food items available at reduced prices, FoodHero makes reducing your food waste, decreasing your carbon footprint, and saving money a breeze. The planet will thank you!
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