Food waste that decomposes in landfills releases methane, a greenhouse gas that is 27 times more potent than carbon dioxide. (Shutterstock/Galina Zhigalova)
It may not be an exaggeration to say that the worldwide lockdown has forced households to cook more than they ever have before.
With the closure of restaurants and fast food chains, people are left mostly to fend for themselves and prepare up to three meals a day every day.
With spontaneous trips to the grocery stores no longer feasible or advisable, that also means fridges may be full of wilting lettuce and milk gone bad.
There’s perhaps no better time to look into zero-waste cooking than now, a philosophy aimed at reducing food waste.
Not only does repurposing food scraps save you money — particularly pertinent given the state of the global economy — but it also helps the environment.
Food waste that decomposes in landfills releases methane, a greenhouse gas that is 27 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
To start, San Francisco blogger Anne Marie Bonneau of zerowastechef.com suggests letting your pantry dictate your meal plan, rather than cooking a recipe at random.
“Rather than allowing our whims to choose what to eat for dinner, let our pantries do it. Instead of picking a new recipe to cook from scratch every night for dinner — who has time to do that? — look at what you have on hand and let that determine what you’ll cook,” reads a post on how to get started.
Other tips include taking inventory of your pantry goods and fridge and making a list before heading out to the grocery store to avoid over-buying, and to create a simple meal plan.
Food52 also has a column dedicated to reducing food waste called “Cooking with Scraps” that features creative ways to repurpose hulled strawberry tops (wash and use to flavor water) and saving wilted lettuce to make a savory lettuce jam.
Here are a few helpful reminders on how to reduce food waste at home
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