‘Tis the season for fresher food, less waste and happier holidays
The holiday season brings with it a joyous coming together of family, friends and food (often in copious amounts). Whether it’s just one more tray of cookies, or enough turkey leftovers to last you a month into the new year, holidays are notorious for the amount of food waste they leave behind.
Did you know that Canadian families throw out 25 to 45 percent more garbage around the holidays, the majority of which is food waste?
That’s enough to put you off your eggnog..
However, there are many simple things you can do to celebrate the festive season with just as much joy - and more mindfulness, sustainability and responsibility.
Planning & Prepping
Planning right is half the battle against food waste, even more so when it comes to the big holiday meals. Before you hit the grocery store and stuff your cart with items you don’t actually need, plan out your menu and look into your pantry to note all the food you already have. You may find that you already own a container of molasses for the gingerbread cookies you plan on baking.
Knowing beforehand the number of guests you will be hosting is another way to be realistic about the amount of food you will need to purchase. Don’t know how to shop for different portion sizes? This dinner party calculator by savethefood.com can help you estimate and plan accordingly.
Most holiday food waste happens at the dinner table due to overserving. Instead of serving your guests large portions only to have them leave a lot of uneaten food on their plate, try eating “family style” by letting people serve themselves.
Storing & Saving
Ever found yourself wondering what to do with all the leftover food from your annual holiday dinner? We’ve all been there. The key to making the most of holiday leftovers by saving them from going to waste - and saving yourself from having to eat turkey and mashed potatoes for a week - is to have a game plan:
- Grab some reusable containers and share the leftovers with your guests so everyone leaves with a bit of the feast for the next day.
- Spread the holiday cheer and warmth by donating any excess food, like that third fruitcake you were gifted, to a food bank or homeless shelter.
- Post-holiday dinners are a great time to meal prep for the week so get creative and try out new recipes with your leftover food.
- Freezing leftovers is an easy way to save food for later. You’d be surprised how long most meats, vegetables and your favorite Christmas cookies can last in the freezer.
- Went overboard and bought extra fruits and veggies? Use Hemp-Fresco™, a hemp-based food preservation product that keeps produce fresher, longer. Made from renewable, eco-friendly Canadian hemp, Fresco pads slow the spoilage of fresh produce and drastically cut the amount of food you would otherwise have to throw away.
Now that you’re ready to take on all the leftovers that come with the holidays, ‘tis the time for fresher food, less waste and happier holidays!