Friday, March 12, 2010

Can I waste less and slim down?

Ask Ida

Dear Ida B. Green,

I've read that Americans throw away 96 billion pounds of food waste each year and yet we're still the heaviest people, as a nation. What do you suggest is the best (or easiest) solution?

Signed, Beefy

Dear Beefy,

Cleaning your plate at every meal is always a good plan but putting too much food on the plate or buying too much food at the store seems to be a growing problem. Once again, focusing on the 3 R's is a great way to start changing this pattern and improving your environmental, financial and maybe even physical bottom line.

1) REDUCE—Buying in bulk is great but make sure that none of that bulk will go bad before you can use it up. Plan menus so that the pepper that was only half used on Monday will be finished up in another dish by Friday. Serve smaller portions or let everyone serve themselves to get the right amount on the plate.

2) REUSE—Leave some spaces in your week's meal plans to use up leftovers. Casseroles, pizza, soups, stews, sandwiches and egg dishes are all great meals to create from leftovers. How do you think meatloaf sandwiches became so popular?

3) RECYCLE—Composting is your food-recycling friend and you can compost all four seasons. Check out backyard or worm composting online or ask a neighbor. You might be surprised.

Easy to be Green, Ida

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