Limited resources in college mean that you have to watch your consumption and wastage. As a student, you cannot afford to waste food, else you will soon cry of hunger when you cannot buy any more.
Even when you have the resources, it is humane to preserve these foods since they leave a humongous carbon footprint to produce. At the same time, the resources you save on food could be used to start a business or entrepreneurship project.
Food wastage in the kitchen is common and might go unnoticed. The few spoons left on the plate each day or during each meal will accumulate into a plateful by the end of the week.
In other cases, you throw away what remains or goes bad in the fridge because it does not feel palatable. It adds to the 1.3 billion tonnes of food wasted each year. It is immoral to add to such grim statistics.
How can you avoid wasting food in the kitchen while in college? Here are excellent insights.
Plan your meals
Know the type of food you require, the quantities, and how to prepare the food. Planning a meal puts you into a psychological state that allows you to consume the food appropriately. If you know you are expecting spaghetti, your body and mind will be prepared. You avoid abandoning the food halfway, leaving it to waste.
Planning also includes setting the quantities. Understand your body metabolism and energy requirements so that you can serve food that will meet these requirements. It may help to work with a nutritionist so that you can get the quantities right. Monitor your consumption over time and adjust accordingly to avoid scarcity or excess food on the plate.
Cook what you can finish
Measure the ingredients you add to a pot when cooking. Cook only for members of the household who have confirmed participation in a meal. It might take time to know the portions for each member of the room, but a good estimation will eventually get you there.
The idea of measuring means that all the food prepared will be consumed. You avoid wasting by preparing excess food that you and your roommates cannot finish. As part of planning, any food that remains after a meal should be included in the planning for the next meal. Either cook less food or reheat the leftovers instead of preparing a fresh pot.
Invest in a fridge
A fridge cannot be a luxury if you want to save food. It is normal to prepare more food than you can finish or lose appetite in the middle of the meal. Keep the leftovers as part of your future meal. This is where the fridge becomes an important appliance for any kitchen that wants to avoid food wastage.
A fridge can store food for days without going bad instead of throwing the food away. Because the fridge will stay on throughout the day and night, you need an energy-efficient model that does not make it futile to save the leftover food. You must know the compartment where each type of food will go and how to keep the food healthy for human consumption until the next session. A freezer is even better because it can store food longer without going bad.
Reimagine your leftovers
Leftovers are not the most appetizing foods you can have in your kitchen. At times, the portion is so small that it is not enough for a full meal. Do not look at the food as just leftovers that can go to waste. Find a way of making the leftovers appetizing and palatable.
You may prepare a bowl of soup to be consumed alongside the leftovers. Vegetables also offer an excellent alternative to spice leftovers. You may also create a broth or smoothie with the leftovers to form a part of your meal. The idea is to still use the leftovers even though the portion is small, and especially avoid throwing the food away.
Use leftovers as snacks
Are you spending the entire day in the room? Can you pack the leftovers as a bite before lunch or supper? Try the idea of using these leftovers as snacks. You utilize the foods instead of buying cakes or other foods that you use as a snack. The idea works perfectly, especially because leftovers come in small portions. It is also a way of saving money on food.
Serve as much as you can finish
A lot of the leftovers are lost when they remain on the plate. In a room with two or more inhabitants, it will feel awkward to have several plates of small portions of leftovers in the fridge. The easiest option, in this case, becomes to throw the food away in the dustbin. You can consider buying your college assignments from IBuyEssay to boost your performance and avoid having to waste all your time rushing around. You can sit by and finish your meal without hurry or pressure.
Avoid such a scenario by understanding the feeding habits of every roommate or anyone who will be served from the pot. Use plates or bowls that help you to accurately estimate the amount of food each person can finish. Once you get the portion taken by each person accurately, you will avoid throwing away food left on the plate because you cannot keep it in the fridge or pack it for future consumption.
Understand expiry dates
A lot of food items end up in the dustbin because they expired or went bad before you could eat them. Read the packaging and preparation instructions to know when a particular ingredient will go bad and when it is still safe for consumption. Plan your meals bearing in mind that some of the ingredients in your kitchen can go bad.
Pack your lunch
Use the leftovers as lunch for the next day. You can add smaller snacks if they are not enough. Packing your lunch is one way of clearing the food before you prepare the next meal. The food does not taste like leftover when consumed during lunch hour when you are extremely hungry.
The food you waste will haunt you at a future date when hunger strikes. Plan your meals and only add portions on the pot or the plate that you can finish. Learn to manage leftovers and you will never have to throw away any food.
Next, check out our guide on how to prepare meals with balanced nutrition for students.