June 20, 2019
Local and international organizations alarmed over rise in food wastage
Every year, roughly one-third of the food produced for human consumption — around 1.3 billion tons get wasted, says a report released by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN). Of these food items, fruits and vegetables, plus roots and tubers, have the highest wastage rates.
Similarly, food wastage is becoming a public concern in the Philippines, especially with latest PSA data revealing the country discards around 987,952 kg of rice a day.
If you feel you are contributing to the problem, there are actually a number of ways to avoid finding too many left overs on your family’s table. According to food experts and appliance developers at Beko Philippines, Filipinos can easily do their part starting with simple habits when preparing meals at home.
Monitor food consumption. Paying attention to what is actually consumed during meals is the most logical solution to curbing the amount of leftovers in your home. By doing so, you also promote a well-balanced diet by giving your family just the right portions of each food item that has essential nutrients needed by the body.
For an idea how to serve nutritious food in the proper portions, check out “Pinggang Pinoy,” an easy-to-understand tool released by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). This visual food guide contains the recommended food portions, aiming to lead Filipinos in consuming the right amount of food for a healthy and balanced diet daily.
Transform leftovers to gourmet dishes. Despite trying to prepare just the right amount of food for your family, circumstances happen that leaves food on the table — this is where the fun begins. Whip up a better version of a recipe by mixing the right kind of remaining ingredients.
Keep it simple. Salads and soups are a popular way to manage leftovers. Mix favorite pieces of leftover meats, fish, and choice of crops. Aside from the flavor, these dishes contain nutrients, depending on the ingredients. Also, always remember that being creative in the kitchen doesn’t mean stressing yourself over a new creation.
Like the creation of new dishes, transforming leftovers makes for great appetizers. Kids often leave vegetables untouched because of its blandness. Present in a way that makes it appealing. Use tasteless stalks of leafy greens as a base for smoothies and such. You can also boost its nutritional content by adding black beans, lentils and quinoa for a filling breakfast.
Store fresh produce properly. You can never go wrong if you know how to store fresh produce in your fridge properly. Improper storage of produce leads to early spoilage. Certain organic compounds, like ethylene gas, contribute to the early maturity of fruits. This type of emission is common in fruits, such as bananas, strawberries, avocados, and mangoes.
You can cover the tips of bananas and keep strawberries in the fridge to slow down their ripening. It is also recommended to separate these types of fruits from the other ethylene-sensitive produce like potatoes and vegetables to avoid spoilage and food waste.
Follow the “FIFO Method.” Keep your fridge well-stocked but don’t go overboard. Organize your refrigerator to oversee the quality of fresh food and leftovers. You can also try the “First in, First Out” (FIFO) Method to avoid food spoilage.
In addition, the features of your fridge can help you in storing leftovers properly. Using their appliances as an example, Beko developed the Everfresh+ feature, among others, for its inverter refrigerator, which provides a decent space in its special crisper compartment for storing leftovers that can be used in the next meal plan. The technology regulates and controls humidity inside the crisper compartment that aids to prolong the shelf life of the produces, thus preserving its fresh and crisp qualities for up to 30 days.
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