Zero Waste Foods: Simple Ways to Reduce Food Waste

Zero Waste

When going zero waste, you realize how much food waste you’ve been discarding on a daily basis. Fortunately, there are many ways to prepare some delicious zero waste foods and reduce your kitchen waste!
Once you’ve mastered the first steps to reduce food waste, like planning ahead, you should give a try to zero waste foods. Zero waste cooking is a great way to value every bit of the foods you buy!
Would you like to reduce your food waste? Are you ready to cook with zero waste recipes in mind? Keep reading to learn the best ways to prepare zero waste foods!

Can You Make a Difference with Zero Waste Foods?

According to the UNEP, around 1.3 billion tonnes of food gets lost or wasted every year. But that’s not the only thing to worry about. That number also represents a lot of water, energy, and other resources wasted!

And to make things worse, food waste generates lots of greenhouse gas emissions. If food wastage were a country, it would be the third-largest emitting country in the world!

That’s why every small action you take to change this situation is important. If more people commit to preparing zero waste foods, they will realize that every part of their food is valuable. Remember that no food should end up in landfills!
Besides, preparing zero waste foods is key to reduce your waste because most of your household trash comes from the kitchen. So, check how to go zero waste for your food below!

Step-by-Step: How to Reduce Food Waste?

Prepping and properly storing food is one of the zero waste foods tips
Before preparing some zero waste recipes, it’s important to know the basic steps to reduce your food waste, such as:

  1. Plan Ahead
    If you want to prepare zero waste foods, it’s important to avoid buying things you won’t be able to use. For this, you can plan your meals and create an inventory of your fridge. With this information, you can make a shopping list and stick to it when going grocery shopping.
    This is a great tip to buy only what you need!
  2. Store Food Properly
    Is your produce spoiling too fast? If so, maybe you’re not storing your food properly. Keep in mind that some foods emit ethylene gas and they will make ethylene-sensitive produce spoil faster. For that reason, you should avoid storing foods like bananas, peaches, tomatoes, and avocados next to potatoes, apples, and leafy greens.
    If you won’t be able to eat your foods soon, freeze them so that you can prepare zero waste recipes later!
  3. Prepare Zero Waste Foods
    The next step to prevent food waste is preparing zero waste foods. The goal of zero waste cooking is to use every part of your food. You can get creative with your scraps or you can find some zero waste recipes to get inspired!
    Below you will find easy ways to make zero waste foods!
  4. Regrow Food Scraps
    Even though zero waste foods are a great way to reduce your food waste, there might be some things you won’t be able to use. But wait, it doesn’t mean you should waste them. You can regrow some food scraps in your garden, like green onions, romaine lettuce, and celery!
  5. Compost
    Finally, composting is your last resort to avoid sending food to landfills. You can try home composting or find a composting center near you!

5 Easy Ways to Make Zero Waste Foods

Easy zero waste foods such as pumpkin seeds
When preparing zero waste foods, remember to include seeds, leaves, peels, and every part of the ingredients you’re using. There are many delicious zero waste recipes to try, here are some creative ways to prepare zero waste foods:

  1. Eat Pumpkin Seeds
    If you’re going to prepare a delicious pumpkin soup, don’t throw the seeds away. You can roast them in the oven to have a crunchy and healthy snack.
    What’s more, you can use them to garnish your pumpkin soup. Likewise, you can add them to other zero waste foods like salads, sauces, and even desserts!
  2. Use Greens
    If the greens of your root vegetables are still attached, don’t discard them! Many zero waste recipes include beet greens, radish greens, carrot tops, and other greens. You can cook them with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. They’re also a good option to prepare pesto!
  3. Prepare Tzatziki Sauce
    You can also prepare a tasty tzatziki sauce with your cucumber peels. All you need to prepare this zero waste recipe is Greek yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt, garlic, and fresh dill!
  4. Make Potato Chips
    Wondering what to do with your potato peels? A great option to prepare zero waste foods would be roasting potato peels in the oven to make some crispy chips! You can use them to complement other foods or eat them as a snack.
  5. Make Stock
    Stocks are the best way to prevent waste and enjoy zero waste foods! You can place a container in your freezer to save food scraps like onion ends, vegetable peelings, herb stems, carrot tops, and more! Once the container is full, you can prepare this zero waste recipe.

Zero waste foods are the best way to value every part of your food and reduce a big part of your household waste. Remember that your scraps are still food, so get creative and find zero waste recipes to use them too! If you are curious to know more about what to do with food scraps, you should check out this article about upcycle food waste. Or if you are curious to learn more about zero waste in general, feel free to check out our zero waste article.

Author: Monica Chang
Started my ethical journey in 2010. Always looking for better options for me and the environment.