Feel like you’re constantly tossing produce you just bought, but didn’t use before it went bad? You’re definitely not alone, in fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service estimates food waste is between 30 and 40% in the U.S.
Pro chefs know all kinds of smart ways to cut back on food waste and promote sustainability and they’re sharing some of their best tips here:
- Love your freezer – “Freeze everything” is the number one tip from these chefs, who recommend freezing everything from leftover veggies to rotisserie chicken bones to make soup stock with.
- Plan your menus – This will help you know exactly what you need to buy at the grocery store and will keep you from preparing more food than you need, according to Katherine Miller, vice president of impact at the James Beard Foundation.
- Embrace leftovers – Have a hard time eating leftovers? Chef Kwame Williams recommends turning them into stir fry the next day.
- Turn scraps into stars – Save all the peels, ends and vegetable tops to make broth or puree them to make a quick soup. Chef Suzanne Cupps also suggests pickling and fermenting produce to “give it new life.”
- Eat ugly – Food advocates like Miller say you shouldn’t pick the most Instagram-able fruits and veggies, but opt for imperfect ones instead. She says consumers can help reduce food waste by supporting the movement to eat misshapen foods.
- Save cooking and braising liquid – Don’t ditch the simmering liquid, save it to add back more flavor in other dishes.
- Learn how to store ingredients properly – You can find all kinds of recommendations online for how to store food correctly to make it last longer, including storing fresh herbs in a jar with water or putting mushrooms in a paper bag.
Source: Good Morning America