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TELL VT: How do you fight food waste in your home?

TELL VT: How do you fight food waste in your home?

We want to know: How do you fight food waste in your home? Share your answer below and see what others have to say. Our favorite responses will be published in the next issue of Vegetarian Times.

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All those scraps and ends from your vegetables. Save them in a plastic bag and when you get enough, put them in a big stock pan, cover with water, add salt, peppercorns, tomato paste and bring to a boil and then simmer for 2 to 3 hours. You will get the most cleanest and freshest vegetable stock. I do this once a week and get 6 quarts of vegetable stock.

We have "clean out the fridge" nights in our house on a weekly basis. The veggies that are on their way out will either make it into a stir-fry, a fritatta, or the soup pot. I don't hesitate to through any left-over cheese rinds, potatoes, rice, tempheh or tofu into the mix. Any vegetable-based items not suitable for the pot head to the compost pile and will be used in the spring to enrich the soil in my vegetable garden.

I juice vegetable and fruit leftovers, and use it for green juices, smoothies or broth for some vegetable soup.

I don't shop at big-box warehouse stores. I know they can save a lot of money but for my family, they lead to a lot of waste, too. I also save the heels from loaves of bread and store them in a zip-top bag in the freezer. When I need some breadcrumbs for a recipe, I take a few pieces out, defrost them, and crumble them up to use.

I save veggie scraps to make homemade broth. I compost my organic waste. I eat leftovers. And I cook like a goddess so even the leftovers are few! Haha!

I'd like to deny the waste, but If no one has eaten leftovers during the week, and if I can't feed it to the chickens, I passively-aggressively clean out the frig on Sunday while my husband is sitting nearby so I can try and make him feel guilty for over-cooking.

I find that making an oversized batch of one dish can leave me bored throughout the week, as I prefer change-ups in meals, but am apprehensive to waste any of it. As a result, I love multitasking with my food. As an example, I will saute and spice a generous amount of veggies and simultaneously prepare a few dishes to have for the days ahead. I will use 1/3 of the veggies for the base of flavorful veggie soup, 1/3 to make a tofu stir fry, and the remaining 1/3 to mix into a leafy salad. It's a great way to get the most out of your veggies.

I use a refrigerator dehumidifier called VegieFresh. It works great and helps my fruits an vegetables last three times as long by simply putting in my refrigerator's drawers. It costs under $10.00 and it lasts for 2 months. I highly recommend!

I am 31 and have been cooking for last 5 years for myself and my husband and by now I know how much can we consume in a week.......so why buy more when you know you are not going to use it all! Also, over years I have learned that doing grocery shopping on a Fri night/ Sat morning leads to lesser waste in my household, since we now have the whole of Sat and Sun to cook for most of the upcoming week. Also, roasting easily perishables veggies (like mushrooms) etc. and then storing them in refrigerator saves them from getting spoiled faster and makes it a cinch to make a quick soup or stir fry during the week nights when time is premium. If I have something special planned to cook for the week (an out of the way dish which I may have not tried cooking at home before), I try and make it on a weekend, because I know I will have very little motivation during the week and the perishable ingredients required for it just might go for a waste, if I didn't. If berries etc, are nearing spoiled state, I get smoothies going at home.....faster and easier way to consume them in bulk. Similarly, if pears or other stone fruits look like they may not last long, I poach them in red wine ...this way you can store them longer as well as I get no ewwww from the husband who will not touch mushy fruits :)

Only make as much food as needed, if there are left overs...freeze! It is amazing what can be brought back to life, even cooked pasta. My favorite treat are frozen ripened bananas. Their creamy texture tastes like ice cream.

I save all of my end cuttings and peels in a freezer safe container to make my vegetable stock. Likewise, if anything isn't able to get used before it spoils like excess herbs, celery, mushrooms, peppers, or squashes, I cut it up and throw it in my stock bowl. I keep potato peels in a separate container (they make the stock too cloudy) to use for other recipes. Also, any fruit that's spoiling either gets turned immediately into popscicles or cut up and stored in the freezer for future smoothies, popscicles, and desserts. And what can't be made into stock or saved for the future gets composted.

I fight food waste by cooking only what I need for that meal. However, if there are some leftovers we usually eat them for lunch the very next day. If there is still enough for at least one more meal after that I will freeze it and serve it up at a later date when I am rushed for time. But every once in a while, the dog gets a great treat. Hey, he's 16 years old and deserves to have a little something yummy in his last days on earth. LOL!

We adopted a bunch of worms to help with waste from juicing. They live in bins in the basement with little smell. At first I was a bit worried about the whole process but it's been an interesting experiment for us. We're looking forward to enriching garden beds using the castings bringing us full circle.

i make 3 dishes at a time because no one likes to eat the same thing every meal. So I will buy an eggplant for instance and cook it three ways, add it to soup, saute with portabella mushrooms and bake in the oven with panko breadcrumbs and make eggplant parm and a 4th way into baba ganoush. The great thing is I also have created 4 dishes which is also a time saver!

On Sundays, my husband & I make a menu with the kids. Then he & I shop (date night!). Since we have a menu, there is not much waste, but we also eat lunch together everyday and make lunch from any extras. Last but a favorite for me, is "Thursday Leftover Night". It is a family free for all, using up any leftovers, making meals from extra ingredients. I don't have to cook much so after homework is done we can all hang out together. Anything left gets added to next weeks menu to use up or composted. We start the weekend with a cleaned out fridge and open possibilities!

I have no fight with food(waste)... I just buy what I eat :-)

I plan ahead and only buy enough fresh produce for four dinners. The three remaining nights are "catch-up" nights where we have leftovers. Our incentive to finish leftovers is Treat Night of Tofurky/Amy's frozen pizza or chik'n nuggets and tater tots! Veggie trimmings and scraps, stale bread, expired cereal are thrown outside for the birds, bunnies, deer, and occasional fox.

I always buy what is fresh and in season. I cook a lot on Monday, especially Tuesday, an average meal Wednesday, then Thursday leftovers, with all leftovers used for lunches and school lunch boxes during the week. All peels etc are used for composting. Also use water from steaming veggies in pot plants. Friday night is a special mael, usually shared with friends and family and creatively use all bits n pieces to see us through the weekend. Start again on Monday. I love working it all out for maximum efficiency, taste, variety etc.

There is basically no food waste at home. Tough broccoli stalks etc. are ground in my food processor to add to sauces. Veg and fruit that has gone a little "soft" goes in to my Vitamix for my morning smoothies. Any parts in edible go in my compost. I serve small portions for meals so nothing is left on the plate. Any leftovers are served again in another meal.

There is little food waste at my home. I only buy what i need,sometimes,it means shopping daily. I know its fresh and again I only buy what I need. Also what scraps are left, including coffee grounds,tea grounds,veggie bits and whatever....COMPOST,COMPOST,COMPOST. There is no reason not to. My left overs from juicing go in soups,sauces and again the compost.

Living alone and cooking mostly for myself, the biggest things are to not buy too much fresh produce at once (a tough balance, since I'm vegan), and to get creative with leftovers. I pay attention to what I do have and base meals around what needs to be used. I usually make enough of everything for at least 2 meals, use my leftovers for quick meals, and put portions in the freezer. I keep a list on the freezer door telling me what I have in there. Edible vegetable 'scraps' go in a bag in the freezer for making vegetable broth, and all other food scraps go in the compost. Imperfect food still gets eaten and failed bread gets turned into breadcrumbs.

When I steam vegetables, I freeze the broth left after the steaming so I can use it later to make delicious and nutritious soup. When our tomatoes produce faster than we can use them, I blend them, pour into ice trays, and store in the freezer in a container. Any time I want to add tomato to my cooking, I pull out a few cubes for a fresh Tuscan taste. I also freeze basil leaves for fresh basil taste all winter long.

Soups, stir-fries, stews and epic salads .... Left overs for lunch . Peels etc To compost . compost To garden to grow more to make more . Simple .

We've been married 28 years so I know "how much" to prepare for 2. Fixing extra is for freezing. When vegan items, veggies & fruits on sale or in season, buy extra & freeze. And share w/ neighbors w/ children or elderly. Make your own sweet potato chips, veggie stock w/ cut-off scraps.

We compost it. Nothing goes to waste.

One word Soup Left Over soup. Brown the onion a little garlic add it to store bought veggie broth cut up all of those wonderful veggie leftovers and heat to boiling and enjoy add some good bread and salad for a fully rounded meal.

We either compost vegi waste. if cooked either have for lunch next day or freeze to use another day as same meal or add to it.or made into soup

Zero-waste cooking is an art form; it takes creativity and dedication, and it can be very rewarding in both saving you money and expanding your culinary horizons. I'm passionate about zero-waste cooking to the point of being a little obsessive - I take it further than most people do. Most importantly, I always eat my leftovers, and I often incorporate them with whatever else needs to be used up in the fridge (eg. leftover rice + tired old veggies + extra fresh herbs = rice salad). Whenever I have fruits that I think will go bad before I can get around to eating them, I chop them up and put them in the "smoothie bucket" in my freezer, so I always have a nice medley of prepped fruits for quick smoothies (or anything else that can be cooked with frozen fruit). I used to have a "stock bucket" in my freezer where I'd keep my vegetable scraps for making vegetable stock. Rather than cut off and throw away the peels of root vegetables, I just scrub them well and eat them with the peels on. When I have extra vegetables I prepare them and freeze them for use later, or I just make a large batch of puree or soup and freeze it in individual containers. If I have a surplus of spinach, I blanch it, drain it, and freeze it in small handful-sized chunks. Extra cucumbers, onions, carrots and beets can be pickled, canned, and stored. I also make them into fermented pickles or kimchi, which preserves them for weeks or even months. Bell peppers and tomatoes freeze beautifully when they're roasted. I also like to dehydrate surplus fruits and vegetables to keep in my bag for a portable snack, or grind them into powder for use in cooking. Most of my fresh herbs are homegrown, so I only pick what I need to use right away. When I do have a surplus of herbs, I'll freeze them for use in cooked dishes, make them into pesto and freeze it in chunks, or dehydrate them. I always use the stems of my fresh herbs, I never throw them out. Rather than composting the roots at the bottom of green onion stalks, I plant them in a pot on my window sill and they continue to grow and yeild fresh green onions for me. Stale bread gets made into French toast, bread pudding or strata. Surplus cheese can be grated and frozen for use in cooking, and the rinds of hard cheeses can also be simmered in stocks and sauces. Past-date milk can be made into yogurt or kefir, which dramatically extends its shelf life. Sour milk can be used in baking. To prevent ginger from going dry and stale, I store it in the freezer (it's easier to grate when frozen, too).

I freeze vegetable scraps like carrot peels, tops of onions, celery leaves, etc. Then once I have a full bag, I put them in a big stock pot with water and boil until I have vegetable stock! I can then freeze the stock into ice cube trays, muffin tins, or tuperwear.

Wasting food is my pet peeve. The most important thing to prevent food waste is planning. I know exactly what we're eating for every meal. The night before I go shopping I get out the recipe books and the VT issues and make meal plans and a shopping list. This way there's really no impulse buying of extra ingredients that I don't need. Another thing I do is put all my veggies in "green bags". I think they really make a difference in keep veggies fresher longer and they are reusable. I bring them with me when I shop so I don't use the plastic bags in the produce department. So additionally I'm cutting out the plastic veggies bag waste. I also use cloth bags to carry the whole load home. By the end of the week my fridge is empty.

Omelets. You can throw leftover anything into an omelet and it tastes great.

when i make something i put all the vegetable scraps in a freezer bag and then when I've collected enough i empty the bag of scraps into a pot of boiling water to make homemade vegetable stock.

First and foremost, I often remind my kids how fortunate they are to have enough food to eat and that not all kids (or grown-ups) do. In our home, when someone doesn't finish a meal, we store it for them to finish when they are hungry again and before they have additional food. We pack our lunches in reusable containers and the kids bring home whatever they don't finish during their school lunch and have it for a snack when they get home. We do our best to plan our meals and grocery lists so that we don't purchase more than we are going to consume, and we try to use what we have on hand before shopping (this can be creative and fun!). I typically make 3-4 meals per week and we eat leftovers on the other days. Freezing leftovers or parts of large batches of food is a nice way to enjoy them again later (as long as you don't leave them in the freezer too long!) without putting in the time needed to prepare them; we also freeze older bread for bread crumbs. When eating out, we share meals and/or bring home any leftovers to enjoy later.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Plan ahead, buy less, cook less, compost peelings, eat mindfully, store & reuse leftovers, share.

When fresh fruit starts to look a bit droopy, I freeze it with a coating of orange juice and use it for smoothies.

I subscribe to a weekly local/organic delivery service. This has really helped to assure we don't waste our weekly vegetables. On Tuesday (the day before delivery) we inventory what's left and cook accordingly. We've come up with some delicious surprise dishes using what's leftover, such as breakfast stir fry, unique salad dressings, and of course veggie soups. The food waste in our house has been reduced significantly since we started the delivery service.

Hi When you have leftover spaghetti you can turn it into this delicious sweet dish.It can be eaten hot with Icecream. http://www.givemesomespice.com/2010/06/what-can-you-do-with-leftover-spaghetti.html

Three ways: - Weekly food shopping only includes the amount of fresh foods needed for that week. - I label every dish that goes into the refrigerator with the date that it was made. - My husband and I always eat leftovers for dinner or lunch, or freeze them to enjoy later. If we do find spoiled food, we compost it and think of our motto, "What we don't eat now, we'll eat again later".

On not so busy weeks, I go to the grocery store every few days and just pick up things I'll need the next couple of days. If I don't have time to do that, I'll stock up on fruits and veggies for the week in one big shopping spree. Whatever isn't eaten and looks like it is about to go bad, I make stir-fry with or into juice. Some things are freezable, but not everything of course!

I save every little bread and cereal crumb at the bottom of the bag in a container. When I've stored enough, I'll use it as a topping for mac & cheese or for breading fried zucchini sticks.

Labeling - I keep a roll of masking tape and a pen next to my refrigerator, and every container of leftovers that goes inside gets named and dated. When I open up the fridge and I see a date from five or six days ago, I'm reminded that I need to finish up those leftovers before they go bad. And I know exactly what's in each container, making it easier to integrate leftovers into new meals. I also check my produce daily for anything that's getting soft, and use those things immediately - you know what they say about "one bad apple!"

Before I got food shopping on Sundays I plan my dinners for the week and i buy all the ingredients I need for those recipes plus a bag of baby spinach. I don't plan any of my lunches for the week. Whatever ingridents I have left over from the dinner the night before which is usually beans and veggies I turn into a mixed salad for lunch that day.

Lettuce. It frequently goes bad in my fridge. My friends have shown me that if you need to separate the leaves from the head, wash them, pat them dry or air dry them by leaving them on the counter. With just a little moisture on them, put the leaves into gallon storage bags and back in the refrigerator. They will last a week or more and are always ready for salad.

I fight food waste by only shopping once a week (I live by myself so that's possible), which also helps my wallet. I usually cook one dish, like a pot of soup, which I will eat for lunch all week, and set some aside to freeze. I also buy a huge container of salad mix (1lb in a plastic container), wrap it in a tea towel, and it stays fresh all week!

We sit down and figure out a weekly menu. I write all items I will need to make the dishes and stck to the list shopping. We also try to plan meals around things that we already have in the house. Doing this has reduced waste and saves money .

I have 2 teens that seem to swing from eating anything in sight to sticking to one thing for weeks on end (oatmeal lately). As a mid 50s mom that doesn't need as many calories as they do at a meal anyway, my strategy is this: Cook something that would be suitable for me but in a quantity for just the two of them. Not knowing with certainty what or how much they want, I leave myself out of the equation. What gets left is my meal. It works! I don't hassle them to finish portions they don't want, nothing gets wasted. On occasion nothing is left over, and that's ok. I can fix something for myself quickly and easily that is even better suited to my diet. We still eat all together a couple days a week, but those leftovers become my work lunches. Voila! Still no waste.

I keep a dry eraseable board on my fridge with a line drawn through the middle. This defines freezer and fridge. I write down whats in where and know without opening the fridge what I have and where its located

A huge help to reducing food wastes for my home has been the inclusion of worm composting. I was a little hesitant to have a bin of worms around, thinking it would be gross or would smell, but its actually been super easy. They eat most of my food scraps and produce a wonderful fertilizer for my garden. This website has been a huge help as well: http://www.compostguy.com/worm-composting-basics/

I try my best to only cook enough for each meal. Utilizing my compost bin as much as possible. But when i do have leftovers i come up with creative ways to make new meals from them. I convert leftover stir fries into potstickers. Leftover curries and stews become wonderful hand pies. Nothing goes to waste and you don't feel like you are repeating meals

1.Last nights salad is tomorrows green drink 2.pulp extracted from making juice is cookies, cakes, crackers 3.left over grains from making fermented probiotic drinks turns into cheese 4.Left over wine is made into vinegar 5. Papaya seeds turn into salad dressing.. That BTW fight parasites... 6. What I don't recreate into a food source for people goes to Ester the back yard chicken. 7. Ester the backyard chicken egg shells are used to make a home made calcium/lemon concoction... I could go on and on.... I love creating new way's to prevent waste..

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