5 Tips to #StrikeFoodWaste from Lovin' Spoonfuls

September 25, 2020 Updated: January 18, 2024

Lovin’ Spoonfuls’ partners, staff, and supporters offered some of their tried and true tips and tricks for curbing food waste at home. They’re simple – and that’s the point. There are steps each of us can take right now to help #StrikeFoodWaste (and these are just a handful of them). Tell us about your favorite strategies!

  1. Understand how long foods last (remember that “best by” and “sell by” aren’t the same thing as “expired”); use your senses (take a look or a sniff) to decide whether something is good to eat. Keep this in mind while shopping as well as making decisions at home about what foods to keep or toss. Prioritize eating the oldest foods first.
  2. Work to extend the life of your food. “Don’t cut up your fruits and veggies until you’re ready for them,” says Sherry Hughes of Women’s Lunch Place. For spices and herbs past their prime, Thomas Reid of Haley House recommends tossing them in a sauce.
  3. Temperature control is important. Very. When you bring a food into your house, says Manny of Boston Rescue Mission, decide whether it belongs in the fridge. If it does, don’t leave it on the counter. Storing foods at the right temps (and understanding what and when to freeze) helps prolong the life of your food.
  4. When life gives you lemons (and, well…other fruits and veggies), preserve them. See below for a recipe from Lovin’ Spoonfuls’ Operations Director, Sean Ahern
  5. Plan a meal from what you already have in your fridge or pantry. Get creative – like @juliehershk. Help inspire others to do the same. Take a picture of what you pulled together. Share it to social, tag Lovin’ Spoonfuls, and use #StrikeFoodWaste.

Preserve Your Lemons!

Operations Director, Sean Ahern, recommends this as a great way to add a little acid to a dish.

Wash well, cut off ends and slice thinly – about 1/8th inch. For two lemons, toss with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. sugar. Put in a freezer bag and squeeze as much air out as possible. Freeze for 12 hours. Take out of the freezer and thaw in the fridge, still in a freezer bag. Once fully thawed, put back in the freezer for another 12 hours. Thaw in the fridge a second time. Remove from the bag and drain off liquid. Place lemon slices in a bowl and cover with oil (about a half cup and olive if possible). Put slices and oil in a freezer bag and squeeze out excess air. Freeze for 12 more hours. Thaw one last time, and they are ready to use or will keep for up to a month if in the fridge, in oil.

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