FOOD WASTE. While we obsess over the latest food trends, restaurant openings and anti-diet ad campaigns, there are 870 million hungry people wondering where their next meal will come from. On average, Americans waste 20 pounds of food per month per person. We HAVE to do better.
How can we reverse this trend and make a social, environmental and economical impact? Adopting a minimalist lifestyle has forever changed my consumption habits and provided space to focus on issues I’m passionate about. In this four part blog series, I’ll discuss how I’ve created a more sustainable kitchen, reduced food waste, saved money and positively impacted the globe. BONUS-you’ll definitely eat healthier as well!
This week, we’ll tackle kitchen organization and inventory, possibly THE most important aspects of food waste prevention and money loss. I’ve worked in the restaurant industry and a commercial kitchen would NEVER purchase food supplies without first taking note of every single item in storage.
My kitchen is far from perfect and I’m a constant work in progress. We can all relate to mining the pantry for a needed ingredient and instead surfacing with a barely used bag of organic, gluten free oat flour from 2015. Gluten free pancakes aren’t my style anyway. All that to show you a before picture of my gloriously, disheveled pantry pre-organization. This was real life-YIKES.
Don’t panic and dump the contents of your entire fridge, freezer and pantry just yet. Start slowly, one shelf at a time if needed. Toss out any expired items and donate any non-perishable foods you’ll unlikely use to a local food pantry. I’m so obviously not an organized individual by nature, but once it’s finally done the system is fail proof. And the after:
I know exactly what I have on hand, which allows effective meal planning and proper stock utilization. When I’m done with an item, it easily returns to its place on the shelf. The same holds true for my ‘catch all’ drawer and refrigerator.
I’ve saved approximately 30.00 per week since organizing and tracking food inventory, equaling roughly $1,500.00 a year. Less than 2 pounds of food per month end up being tossed, a feat unheard of in my household only a year ago.
There’s no better time than TODAY to start organizing your kitchen and utilizing what’s on hand for weekly meal planning. Every tiny step taken progresses the global sustainability movement, and THAT’S how we make change.
For part two next week, we’ll shift to more sustainable eating and grocery shopping. In the meantime, drop a comment if you have any kitchen organization tips to share!