By Dylan Bailey, MS
With the new school year comes new excitement and opportunity, as well as new challenges. Saving time and creating valuable family memories may be at the forefront of your mind especially with summer vacation in the rear-view mirror and backpacks filled with homework replacing beach bags filled with sunscreen.
With the little available time you have this back-to-school season, Libby’s challenges you to do something easy and great for your family, with a strong educational lesson at its heart. We’re talking about minimizing food waste.
Currently, it is estimated that 31% to 40% of food is thrown away after it has been harvested, which equates to more than 1,200 calories per person per day – those are some alarming numbers! We have some simple solutions, recipes and tips that you and your family can start to implement this new school year to reduce food waste.
Never Waste a Dilla
Finish the first day of school with this quick, easy, and inexpensive meal that is sure to get the whole family running to the dinner table. These Southwestern Chicken Quesadillas use full cans of Libby’s® Mixed Vegetables. Pop leftovers into an air-tight storage container and place into the fridge so you and your family can enjoy this tasty creation for lunch the next day.
Meet your Meatloaf
As summer moves to fall, you may want to think about a hearty meal to fuel all those after school activities. This flavorful Mediterranean Meatloaf made with Libby’s® Peas and Carrots is sure to provide everyone with a boost of energy and protein to keep muscles strong (including your brain!). Plan this meal a week in advance of shopping so you buy only the ingredients needed.
Dish Some Casserole
Casserole dishes are a great way to limit food waste and use leftovers. This Cornbread Chicken Casserole uses full cans of sweet corn, black beans, and tomato sauce to provide a bold, satisfying recipe the whole family will love. To use any leftovers of this recipe, try serving with Brown Butter Green Beans With Garlic Almond Bread Crumbs the next day.
Some other tips we have to reduce food waste include:
- Plan your meals for the week before you go shopping and buy only the things needed for those meals.
- Consider your food packaging. Cans are 100% recyclable, which can limit waste to landfills and be re-used to make new products.
- Find out how to store fruits and vegetables so they stay fresh longer inside or outside your refrigerator.
- Prepare and cook perishable items, then freeze them for use throughout the month.
- Learn the difference between “sell-by,” “use-by,” “best-by,” and expiration dates.
- Casseroles, stir-fries, frittatas, soups, and smoothies are great ways to use leftovers too.
Source: Reducing Wasted Food At Home. (2017, April 17). Retrieved August 09, 2017, from https://www.epa.gov/recycle/reducing-wasted-food-home