Nutrition counseling for every body

Waste not

Every single client I’ve ever met, at some point in our conversations together, has told me how much they hate to waste food. It doesn’t matter why they’ve come to see me, how old they are, how much money they have – no one wants to throw good food away. And yet, food waste happens to the best of us.

In Ada County, a recent study of the landfill found that 25% to 33% of the food tossed into the garbage could have been eaten if only it had been consumed earlier.(1) At the national level, “American families throw out approximately 25 percent of  the food and beverages they buy. The cost estimate for the average family of four is $1,365 to $2,275 annually.”(2)

These statistics confirm some of our worst fears about spending money at the grocery store: “Fresh food is too expensive! Even if I do go ahead and buy it, I’ll just end up throwing it away.”  

It’s true that uneaten food is expensive! I’m sure none of us has a budget item called “Carrots and apples to throw in the trash – $150/month.” Throwing away good food is not inevitable, however; it doesn’t have to be like this.

Good news! If you cook for one, if you feel like you have to clean your plate, if you avoid buying fresh food because it spoils before you can eat it, if your food budget is bloated, your freezer is here to help.

We have lots of options for reducing food waste, and many creative and practical people have written about it. (Heck, there’s even an app for that.) But today I’d like to focus on your freezer. Chances are that you already have one in your kitchen, so you don’t need to buy any new gadgets in order to save your food and money.

marya bruning boise nutrition dietitian

tripb / Flickr

I challenge you to start freezing foods. Anything will do. If it’s good enough to eat, and yet you won’t be able to eat it before it spoils, go ahead and put it in the freezer. Then go one step further and purposefully buy or cook too much to eat so you can freeze it for another day – maybe a day when you don’t feel like cooking?

Check out these fabulous freezer how-to’s:

Need a personal demo? Just ask. My freezer is currently full of pesto, plums, blueberries, raspberries, flour, brown jasmine rice, bread, tomatoes, cheese, nuts, seeds, broccoli…

  1. Ada County Landfill: Yes, We Throw Away a Lot of Yard Waste. Food Too. Boise Weekly, 2014.
  2. Wasted: How America Is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill. National Resources Defense Council, 2012.