Waste is one of the biggest problems of the 21st century. We consume so much that there is bound to be a lot of waste. Research shows that we waste 1.3 billion tons of food every year. However, people are finally addressing this issue and finding ways to reduce waste in all aspects of their lives.
This approach extends to cooking as well. If you want to make your food last longer for any reason such as food insecurity or a tight budget then there are simple methods you can implement.
These simple but effective tips to reduce waste while cooking will help you find solace in cooking and reduce food waste.
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1. Invest In Good Cooking Equipment
Just like a painter needs the right tools to execute his art flawlessly, you also need the right equipment to cook flawlessly and with less waste. This is a one-time investment that will last you a lifetime.
Find appliances that offer various functions so you don’t have to get one appliance for every function. This will save you money. Apart from that, you need to learn how to use it correctly as well.
You can’t get the most out of an appliance unless you know how to use it in the right way. This will also help you reduce food waste as you can make any dish to perfection with the help of this equipment.
2. Find Creative Ways To Cook Everything You Buy
Yes, many of us tend to go overboard when it comes to grocery shopping and buy everything on sale. This is a big mistake because food items are perishable and we don’t use everything in our cooking.
This is why you should always make use of everything you buy at the grocery store. Doing so will significantly reduce wastage as you will be using everything you have paid for.
This will help you stay creative in the kitchen and experiment in the kitchen as well. Always keep a list of items in the fridge and pantry and use them before they start to go bad.
After all, a good chef can whip up anything even with the most surprising ingredients so explore your inner chef to reduce food waste.
3. Improve Your Cooking Techniques
It is important to follow recipes when you are new to cooking because it gives you a starting point. However, one of the most common cooking mistakes many people make is that they always rely on a recipe to guide them.
This is not a good thing because it restricts your creativity in the kitchen, increases food waste, and doesn’t allow you to perfect your cooking skills. So, if you want to reduce waste then learn to improve your cooking skills.
Follow a recipe first and then as soon as you understand how a recipe works, give it a try yourself. This way you will explore new cooking techniques and your personal cooking style.
You will also find ways to make the most of your food this way as having the right skills is crucial to making less waste.
4. Be Patient With Food Preparation
Cooking is an activity that tests your patience as well. Many of us make mistakes because we are always in a hurry to make our food quickly. However, this only causes more problems.
Enjoy the cooking process and be mindful what you are cooking. Take pleasure in every step of the cooking journey so you are not impatient. Once you start cooking in this way you will enjoy the process much more and improve your skills as well.
It will also help you reduce food waste because when you are paying attention you will also be aware of the small ways you may waste food during cooking.
You can then come up with ways to prepare your food without wasting it unnecessarily.
5. Avoid These Common Cooking Mistakes
Many of us make these mistakes unintentionally because our cooking becomes a task or chore that we need to do. This way we don’t give a second thought to what we are doing and it is a reflex.
Here are a few common cooking mistakes you should avoid if you want to make less waste:
- Don’t turn up the heat to reduce cooking time
- Always store peels of fruits and vegetables as you can make use of them later
- Use excess food by making homemade stocks
- Don’t focus too much on perfecting everything
- Taste as you go
- Add food when the pan is hot enough
- Rest your meat after cooking it
We have all been guilty of not following best procedures while cooking. Make sure to incorporate these small but effective habits so you can cook better and reduce food waste too.
6. Cook According To Portions
Don’t cook more than what you can eat. Always be mindful of serving sizes and portions so that you don’t make more than needed. This leads to waste and is not a sustainable solution as you will be wasting money as well.
A good way to cook in the right portions is to use tools such as measuring cups and other measuring devices. This way you will know exactly how much you are cooking. You can then cut back or put less of an ingredient to make it according to what you need.
Do your part and reduce food waste by focusing on the way you cook. You will be surprised at how much less food you waste once you implement these ways into your cooking.
You can then judge for yourself how much you waste and come up with additional ways to reduce your waste even further.