As residents shopped at the Aberdeen Sobeys on Thursday, two experts on food and food waste were on hand to provide helpful advice – and a bite to eat.
Susan MacDonald, regional co-ordinator of the Pictou County Solid Waste, visited the Aberdeen Sobeys store to give advice on how to more efficiently buy and prepare food to minimize the waste created.
Susan, along with Courtney MacDonald, a red seal chef with Sobeys, offered shoppers tips on efficient food use. To demonstrate, the pair offered shoppers samples of a dish Courtney prepared, using that very advice.
“A lot of unused food ends up in green carts,” said Susan. “We’re looking to show people how to find ways to use some of this food in a creative manner, so that the food isn’t wasted.”
The goal of the initiative – funded by Divert NS – is to divert food waste, since homes tend to produce a large volume of food waste in Nova Scotia. Susan noted there are many uses for food that can drastically cut back on how much waste is created.
Their information booth was part of a cross-province tour, informing shoppers in Nova Scotia about the possibilities that lie within more efficient food choices – including savings on grocery bills.
“We’ve had a lot of traffic today – I think it’s a combination of the opportunity to win a prize and try some good food,” said Susan.
Tips on how to more efficiently use food
Susan and Courtney MacDonald provided a number of tips on how to more efficiently choose food, and use that chosen food, to prepare fulsome meals that result in less food waste.
Take only what you need
Only buy what you need, when shopping for groceries. Buying more than you need leads to food waste, as it often is left unused, only to later go bad. One way to do this is to think about what dishes each purchase will go into.
Having a general idea of what you want to cook throughout the week as you shop for groceries leads to more practical choices as to what you need.
Often, you will find you don’t need as many ingredients – or as much of them – when you plan meals with the same ingredients for the week.
When buying food, there are many parts of the food that can easily be reused for more than one purpose. Skin and bones taken from meat – and even the peelings and rinds of vegetables resulting from the preparation of one dish can be used to prepare other foods – like broths or stocks.
Sometimes leftovers of meals, with some proper ingredients, can be converted into newer meals, such as turning leftover roasts into stir-fries and soups, or leftover turkey into casseroles.