• Holidays

Our top 10 ideas to decrease food waste during the holidays

By The Proulx-Coll Household

Less Food Waste = Less Carbon Footprint

I read that 58% of food is wasted. That’s astounding! One way to reduce our carbon footprint is to reduce food waste. Food waste not only wastes energy spent producing and distributing uneaten food, but emits harmful methane emissions when the food decomposes. 

It got me thinking about how the Proulx-Coll family can help decrease food waste. Here are my top 10 ideas to help reduce food waste:

1. Store fruits and veggies properly to conserve them longer

  • Store fruits and veggies separately in the fridge as some fruits release ethylene gas that can spoil vegetables
  • Don’t wash your produce until right before you eat them
  • Store garlic, onion, potatoes, sweet potatoes and winter squash in a cool, dry and dark place
  • Keep onions away from other vegetables as onions release a gas that can spoil other produce
  • Carrots, beets: Remove the tops and store them separately in sealed bags
  • Leafy greens: Wash and store in a kitchen towel in the drawer

2. Freeze uneaten fruit to add to smoothies

3. Make a cream soup with the less attractive vegetables.

I add maple syrup and milk to my soups and everyone loves them (most of the time!). 

4. Use up the entirety of the vegetable.

Otherwise, add the veggies scraps to a bag in the freezer to then make a vegetable broth when full.

5. Put bread in the freezer at all times to keep it fresh!

6. Keep the ends of the bread in a bag in the freezer to make croutons with it instead of discarding it.

7. Store homemade muffins and cookies in the freezer right after you prep them to keep them fresh.

8. Serve meals family-style (instead of pre-plating) and encourage family members to take only what they want to eat.

I’ve been serving most of my meals family-style for years now and love it. It means to place all the items family members need for the meal on the table at once and let everyone serve themselves. This avoids waste and encourages children to be autonomous in their choices. Other advantages of family-style meals are that you don’t have to get up to serve anyone, family members eat according to what they feel like eating and according to they appetite and tastes. Kids can serve themselves from about age 4!

9. Plan your meals mostly according to what you have in the fridge and freezer.

This doesn’t mean to never plan meals according to what you feel like eating. It’s just something I thought about during this challenge. I hadn’t ever thought about this! This avoids extra food accumulating in the fridge and freezer and potentially getting wasted.

10. Let kids get creative in the kitchen.

Since my kids are very young, I’ve included them in the kitchen with me to help meal prep. It’s not always easy as it often gets messy and it takes more time but it’s so worth it.

According to this study, kids actually eat more when they prep the food themselves. Kids take ownership and really do love to taste their creations. Watch this video of Sasha inspiring other kids to get creative in the kitchen by preparing a vegetable stir fry and spice mix:

Next are images of kids in the kitchen from a very young age:

Happy Holidays from the Proulx-Coll Family!

Written by The Proulx-Coll Household

Read more of their stories as they vie with the other seven households to reduce their carbon footprint.

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