Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Want to cut food waste at home? Think like a chef.

By: Riel Hishon & Valerie Cassells

Professional chefs know that food equals money. The bottom line takes a hit when food is wasted. As a result, chefs know how to keep food fresh and maximize shelf life. Simple tips can make all the difference - less than 8% of food in a professional kitchen is wasted, compared to up to 40% at home.

To help you learn to think like a chef, we invited Toronto's very own Chef Mike Ward in for a demo. Here are his top tips to reduce food waste at home.

#1: Consolidate and organize 

Most of us have multiple bags of rice and flour, or multiple jars of mustard, olives, or whatever in our kitchens. Chef Mike recommends consolidating these items, and organizing them properly. All of that chaos is what caused you to buy multiples in the first place. Chef Mike also recommends storing and organizing food in see-through containers, such as glass. As an added bonus, your pantry will be so beautifully organized that it will make you want to cook more!

Learn from a pro: Chef Mike's Top Tips to Reduce Food Waste at Home 

#2:  Know what you have in stock

Once you've consolidated everything, you'll know exactly what you have in stock. That, combined with meal planning and the use of a shopping list, means you are well on your way to savings.

#3: Store food properly 

Proper storage can make a big difference when it comes to keeping food fresh. Check out What Goes Where; our complete (and handy) guide to keep food fresher, longer. #Protip: this piece makes a handy fridge-saver! 

#4:  If you're not into leftovers...

...measure your recipes to reduce or eliminate them. Only cook as much food as you need. That way, you won't be left with more than you know what to do with. It's that simple. 

#5: Create a nightly special 

When something in your fridge is about to wilt, expire, or transition from appetizing to unappealing in any other way, find a great recipe and use it up. See how creative you can get. That's exactly what restaurants do with their daily specials. 

#6:  Freeze in single-serve portions 

Freeze leftovers in single-serve portions, so you'll have easy, ready-to-go meals when you don't feel like cooking, or you're short on time. 

Now it's your turn (win a $25 pizza gift card!)

What are your favourite food-saving tips? Share your ideas on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #stopfoodwaste for a chance to win a $25 Pizza Pizza gift card!

Did you know that one of TransformTO's goals is to divert 95% of waste from landfills, by 2050? Currently, we only divert 52% of waste. Let's #TransformTO together! Learn more on how you can divert your waste properly at livegreentoronto.ca.

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