Cupid's Pulse Article: Food Trend: Zero Waste EatingCupid's Pulse Article: Food Trend: Zero Waste Eating

By Bonnie Griffin

In recent food trends, restaurants and bars are taking the age-old saying “less is more” to new heights with zero waste eating. Restaurants are using many different methods to ensure no food goes to waste, from composting to donating glass trash for recycling. Some popular restaurants are even passing the trend along to customers with no cutlery waste and reusable packaging. When enough food is thrown away each year to feed 870 million people, it is nice to see a food trend that helps eliminate unnecessary waste.

Zero Waste Eating is a new food trend that can help you cut down on food waste. Here are some ways to waste less food.

Restaurants and bars typically have a lot of waste from food that doesn’t get served or eaten to paper and plastic cutlery and broken dishes. When people are starving while food is being thrown away by the gallons it is nice to see restaurants stepping up and working to eliminate waste. You don’t have to be a restaurant or bar to practice zero waste eating. Cupid has some food tips on zero waste eating:

1. Only cook what will be eaten: It’s unimaginable to imagine we would throw away perfectly good food when people around the world are starving, yet it happens often. Large portions lead to food waste that is unnecessary and this can easily be avoided. When preparing meals or ordering at a restaurant only order or make what you know you and your family will eat. If you do wind up with too much food, don’t throw it out. Leftovers taste great a day after and can make for a great lunch for work. If you really don’t want your leftovers, give it to someone else who will want it.

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2. Composting: Have too many leftovers, or you are tired of eating the same thing after night two and considering throwing away perfectly good food? Why not try composting? Composting helps you build up your soil so that it retains moisture and reduces the need for chemical fertilizers. It is great for that beautiful flower bed you’ve been wanting to plant to liven up your curb appeal or can be used to plant your very own garden where you can grow your own fresh vegetables.

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3. Stop using disposable dishes and utensils: We all know using paper plates and plastic utensils are convenient. All you need to do after you’re done eating is toss it in the trash. Have you thought of the impact doing this has on the environment? Bright white paper plates are composed of wood fibers which must be bleached and have chlorine compounds in them. Plastic doesn’t rot, so it harms wildlife. Instead, use dishes that can be reused and washed to eliminate the waste you created when you eat. It only takes a few minutes to wash your dishes after you are done with your meal.

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4. Store food properly: How often do you throw away food that went bad because it wasn’t stored properly or wasn’t used in a timely manner? Cut down on food waste by storing food properly so it lasts longer, and only buy perishables that you know you will be used within a set amount of time. You can buy plastic storage bowls or plastic bags to store your food. Also, don’t underestimate the power of your freezer, which will help keep certain foods longer (even bread) until you can get to them.

5. Shop with a plan: Start meal planning. This way, you’ll know exactly what you need to buy after you make a shopping list for your next trip to the grocery store. As long as you can keep yourself from deviating from your list, you’ll prevent yourself from buying food you don’t need and won’t need to worry about expiration dates. You’ll also eliminate waste by throwing out food that has gone bad, so you’ll save more money.

This zero waste food trend is one we can get behind. Tell us your ideas on cutting down on food-related waste below.