Tis the season for planning and preparing festive treats and delicious meals – from trays of cookies and appies for the holiday party to traditional family feasts with all the fixings.
But not all of this delicious food gets eaten. One third of all food produced globally is wasted and 47% of the value of food wasted in Canada happens in our homes. 63% of the food Canadians throw away could have been eaten.
Wasting food uses up valuable resources like land, water, and energy. What’s more, wasted food costs an average Canadian household more than $1,300 a year.
Save food (and money) this holiday season by using up all your groceries and spreading the Holiday Cheer with delicious leftovers.
Plan Portions Appropriately
Be realistic about how much food you’ll really need, and try to prepare only what you and your guests will eat. Consider buying a slightly smaller turkey.
Save A Place for Leftovers
Before the holidays, start using up any food that needs to be consumed – leftovers, produce, scraps of bread – and clear out space in your fridge and freezer for new leftovers.
Turn the bread crusts in your freezer into the perfect festive coffee snack. Try the sweet Cinnamon Sugar Bread Chips or savoury Garlic Bread Chips
Plan Yourself a Relaxing Boxing Day
Who wants to go grocery shopping on Boxing Day? Instead, make sure to get all the ingredients you’ll need to make use of your leftovers.
If you’re a turkey sandwich fan, make sure you have bread. Turkey soup or Turkey curry? Add those ingredients to your shopping list.
Serving Holiday Cheer
Serve just enough, so that guests eat their fill and food isn’t wasted. Then when the meal is finished don’t let the food sweat on the table for hours. Store your leftovers safely – get them into the fridge within two hours.
Eat “family style” and encourage guests to serve themselves. They’ll be able to choose what they want to eat and how much, which makes it less likely that you’ll have to dispose of served but uneaten food.
The Ultimate Party Favour
Make leftovers part of the party. If you are a guest, don’t refuse the leftovers – you might be doing your host a favour by taking some of that extra food off their hands!
Ask guests to bring containers, or have an ample supply on hand (top tip: keep hold of those plastic containers from any takeaways, they’re great to reuse for this!), so that everyone is prepared to leave with a bit of the feast for the next day.
Stock Your Freezer With Care
Leftovers are good – and free – food, as long as you remember to use them. Freeze leftovers in individual sized portions for easy midweek reheating or freeze cookies for late January treat.
If you really can’t face another bite of turkey, freeze it for a couple of months and defrost for Christmas dinner #2 in February!
Re-Invent Holiday Leftovers
While everyone loves a steaming bowl of comforting turkey soup there is a world of new ideas for your leftovers at lovefoodhatewaste.ca. Some of our new favourites are:
The CRD’s new Solid Waste Management Plan has a target of 250 kg/capita over the next decade and includes strategies for reducing all streams of solid waste, including avoidable food waste.
The CRD has partnered with Love Food Hate Waste Canada to offer tips on simple steps to reduce food waste, from storing food so it stays fresh to using up leftovers to meal planning. For more tips on how to save money and reduce food waste, please visit http://www.crd.bc.ca/lovefood.