Food enthusiasts in Brooklyn can make a difference by adopting practical measures to reduce food waste and promote sustainability
As food enthusiasts living in Bushwick, Brooklyn, we have a unique opportunity to make a significant impact on the amount of food waste generated in our community. According to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council, Americans throw away 40% of the food they buy, which contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental problems. However, there are small steps we can take in our daily lives to reduce food waste and make a positive impact on the environment.
Plan meals and shop wisely: Carefully planning meals in advance allows us to shop more efficiently and avoid buying excess food that may go to waste. Before heading to the grocery store, plan your meals for the week and make a list of the ingredients you need. Additionally, consider buying imperfect produce, which is often sold at a discount and helps reduce food waste in the supply chain.
Store food properly: Appropriate food storage and preservation techniques are vital in extending the lifespan of perishable foods. Maintain the correct temperature in your fridge, store fruits and vegetables separately to prevent them from spoiling prematurely, and use airtight containers to keep leftovers fresh. Make sure to label them with the date to avoid forgetting about them.
Use scraps and leftovers creatively: Get innovative with your leftovers and scraps. Vegetable scraps can be used to make a homemade vegetable broth, stale bread can be turned into croutons or breadcrumbs, leftover rice can be transformed into a fried rice dish, and overripe fruit can be blended into a smoothie or used to make a fruit compote.
Compost: Composting provides an efficient means of reducing food waste and simultaneously contributing to environmental sustainability. If you have a backyard or access to a community garden, consider composting your food waste. This helps divert food scraps from landfills and creates nutrient-rich soil for gardening. Many cities, including New York City, offer free or low-cost composting services, making it easier to transform food scraps into valuable soil nutrients.
By taking these small steps, we can all make a difference in reducing food waste in our community. Let’s work together to make Bushwick, Brooklyn a more sustainable and environmentally friendly place to live.
by Emily Clarke