Hacks to Prevent Food Waste in Your Kitchen

Hacks to Prevent Food Waste in Your Kitchen BeLatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of fao.org

You may find yourself reaching for ingredients to finally make that well-intentioned salad, but it’s a few days after you purchased the lettuce, and now it’s droopy — gross! 
Everyone knows that food waste is a huge problem. But did you know that American households toss out 150,000 tons of food each day and that people who eat more fruits and vegetables tend to be the most wasteful? 

No te preocupes. We can change that, one habit at a time. 
We have put easy-to-implement food hacks to the test to minimize food waste and save you money. 

Lettuce in cold water BELatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of Vanessa Colosio Diaz.

Lettuce

If your lettuce is starting to drop, you can bring her back. First, cut off the excess portions of the stem and any dark edges. Then place your lettuce in a bowl or Tupperware with cold water and ice cubes. In 20-30 minutes, your lettuce will perk right back up. I typically leave it overnight as I prefer to submerge it into ice water the day before I need it, along with other vegetables. When you are ready to use the lettuce, remove it from the water, pat it dry with a reusable paper towel and cut it up.
This chilling ice cube effect can also work with spinach, celery, carrots, kale, broccoli, and other stem vegetables. It won’t make the produce last forever, but it does extend their life significantly.

This hack is excellent for the droopy level produce before any slime. If your vegetables are slimy, they head into the compost bin. 

Celery food waste BELatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of Vanessa Colosio Diaz.

Celery

Another water-based renewal method is to cut celery or lettuce, once you are nearly finished with it, to the bottom two inches and place it into a half-inch of water. Once it begins to take root, you can plant it into a pot to grow again faster than if you keep it in water for too long. 

I learned that lesson.

If you don’t want to eat the plants, you are growing in water for whatever reason. You can also consider them your indoor house plants, fewer indoor plants you need to purchase to add nature and greenery to the inside of your home.

Green Onions

Green onions (aka scallions) and other vegetables will continue to grow if you leave them in water on the windowsill too. This is a good way to avoid food waste. 

Food Storage BELatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of Business Insider.

Foods that you should not store next to each other

There are several fruits you should keep away from your vegetables until you are ready to make that dish because many fruits and vegetables give off a nearly undetectable chemical called ethylene. Business Insider put together an extensive list

Eat first Bins Food Waste BElatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of Vanessa Colosio Diaz

Have an “eat first” bin or bins

If your produce often gets lost or trapped in the abyss of refrigerator products, create an eat first bin or bins in which you make the most perishable, the most accessible, front and center. I take a step further and place as much of it as I can in silicone sealed Pyrex. Each fruit or vegetable is set in its container with a clear glass lid to see above like I can from the sides.  

If you have some great tips or would like to learn more, stay tuned, we will be sharing more information in the coming months. Also, share Latina sustainability products or stores with us!