#7 of #1000WaystoNourish | Ways to Reduce Food Waste | Take the Pantry Challenge 1000WaystoNourish

#7 – Take the Pantry Challenge

Welcome to Nourish By Numbers. We are a public awareness initiative to help people better understand the future implications of the food choices we are making today. Good food isn’t just about flavour and nutrition, it isn’t just about us. That’s the basis of this better food movement. In this edition, seeking out ways to reduce food waste.

#7 of #1000WaystoNourish | Ways to Reduce Food Waste | Take the Pantry Challenge

Food Waste is a mountain of a problem. Canadians throw away 58% of the food we produce. The world average is a little lower at 30%. That’s millions and millions of tons of food that could have satisfied hungry people around the world but instead ends up in the landfill. It’s an atrocity of the civilized world that this enormity of waste is taking place in homes and factories and farms around the world.

As a part of the last post in this series of #1000Waysto Nourish, I offered Step 1 in combatting the enormous task of reducing food waste. Shop your fridge first. Here’s Step 2.

Take the Pantry Challenge

Shop your Pantry.

Every day take at least three items out of your pantry and use them for dinner. Supplement with what you find in your fridge. That, you may remember was Step 1.

Give youself a bonus if you used ONLY pantry ingredients.

If your pantry is anything like mine, this can go on for a while before you make a dent. Cans of lentils and corn, sauces and peppers and baked beans, there is so much in there that can be transformed into a wholesome meal. Chillis and stews and curries, all are great dishes to make with pantry ingredients.

Make it a habit.

That’s it. Sounds easy enough, right. And you save money in the bargain

One Last Thing: check the dates on the cans and jars. The Best Before End on many pantry items advise quality rather than safety. The people behind Love Food Hate Waste have done research into keeping different foods fresh. Check out the information they offer. It will help.

Believe we can make a difference? Follow and share #1000WaystoNourish.

#6 of #1000WaystoNourish | Reduce Food Waste | Shop your fridge first 1000WaystoNourish

#6 – Start with your Fridge

To “nourish someone” is to feed them deeply in a sustainable way. When you nourish you consider the what, how and why. That’s how Nourish By Numbers started. We are a public awareness initiative that is bringing people together to influence better food for all. In this edition, our first step of many in the ways we can reduce food waste.

#6 of #1000WaystoNourish | Reduce Food Waste | Shop your fridge first

As a part of this movement, I am sharing #1000Waysto Nourish. These are real actions that we can take in our daily lives to change the way we grow, consume and talk about food, and where that food finally ends up.

A third of the world’s food ends up in a landfill. Canada is one of the worse offenders where 58% of the food produced is either lost or thrown away.

– Source – Second Harvest, Canada 2019.

Food waste is a big problem. It is a waste of not just food, but also the time and resources that went into producing that food. The garbage takes up space – billions of tons of landfill space – and it also adds to emissions that are causing global warming. Food waste is a huge problem. Yes! But like all seemingly insurmountable problems, the solution to this one also starts with people taking that first step.

What can you do?

Shop your fridge first.

Every time you think you need to make a grocery run, open the fridge first. Look in the back, check old containers, look through the leftovers. Make it a habit.

Shop for what you need in your fridge FIRST.

I have to be honest – it is wonderful to have fresh produce to cook with. But this life of abundance where we can walk into a grocery store and buy what we need whenever we want has diminished the value we attach to our food. So before you head out to the grocery store, shop your fridge first. Make sure there’s nothing else that you can find hiding in there.

One Last Thing: Find wilted carrots and limp spinach? They can be transformed into a comforting bowl of curry. Millions of people make curry every day because you can add anything to it and it transforms into something warm and flavourful. Kind of how life can be

Over the next little while, I will be sharing many more real steps that we can take in our lives to reduce the sheer quantity of food waste that we see in our life. Follow and share #1000WaystoNourish. We all need to work together.

#1000WaysToNourish

#5 of #1000WaystoNourish | Nourish by NUmbers | Make Curry 1000WaystoNourish

#5 – Curry Favour?

Welcome to NourishbyNumbers, a grassroots social initiative to help make better, more sustainable food choices. In this edition – one of my favourite ways to reduce food waste.

Better Food = Healthy Planet

Make Curry Not War

There’s a reason billions of people eat curry every day. Actually there are many reasons but first and foremost, curry forgives. Always.

Curry is a generic word for any dish which has a richly spiced sauce and is cooked with meat and/or vegetables. It is usually eaten with rice but may also be accompanied by flatbread like roti, naan or parantha. In the age of paleo and keto, it may even be eaten over a pile of lettuce. I don’t judge. The dish has travelled nations and continents, from Thailand and Malaysia and India to England and even far-reaches of Canada.

This dish has been tweaked and tasted by billions of households around the world, and somehow there is never one set recipe. Every family and community has its own version.

My favourite recipes are here and here. The foundational ingredients are often onions, ginger and garlic with some liquid often coconut milk. This dish makes a great carrier for other herbs and spices turmeric in particular along with basil or coriander.

With all these ingredients and flavours making curry may feel overwhelming. But the one thing that brings it all together is that curry forgives.

Curry is the one dish that is open to interpretation and experimentation. And though many have tried, it is very, very difficult to ruin a curry.

#5 of #1000WaystoNourish | Nourish by NUmbers | Make Curry  Ways to reduce food waste

What Can You Do?

Make curry. Consider recipes as guidelines and add in ingredients that you like. Use vegetables that may be bruised and wilted. It doesn’t matter they will become flavourful and wholesome once they go into the pot of curry. Imperfect produce is perfect for a curry. The pursuit of perfection in our lives and even in our kitchens has driven farmers to grow and harvest only perfect looking fruits and vegetables, leaving behind piles of produce resulting in so much food waste. More on this later. But in the meanwhile make curry. You can add in dodgy looking carrots and bruised tomatoes and wilted spinach. It’s a culture shift to reach for the ugly vegetable but your planet will thank you. Your farmer will too.

One Last Thing: Recently I was invited to watch Before the Plate documentary that took us behind the scenes into the journey of food before it ends up on our plate. It helped me not only see the effort that goes into growing our food but also what happens when farmers are forced to adapt to changing consumer behaviour. Watch the movie.