We partnered with Why Waste, a student club at UC Davis centered on not only reducing food waste but also providing meals for the homeless, to show you how easy it can be to reduce food waste this holiday season. It has come to that time of the year where we’re ready to put on our Thanksgiving pants and eat our hearts out. However, this year let’s vow to eat not only excessively but also responsibly.

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Here are six simple but effective ways to reduce food waste:

1. Make a shopping list

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Before setting foot in the grocery store, make a list of things you need to buy and stick to that list. Check your fridge and pantry to make sure your list correctly reflects what you need.

#SpoonTip: Never go grocery shopping hangry because you will actually buy the whole store. 

2. Organize your food

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A good trick to prevent food waste is putting older food in the front of the refrigerator while placing your newer groceries towards the back. This way you are aware of what it is in your fridge and can finish foods closer to their expiration date. Clever? We think so too.

3. Properly store your food

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A lot of the times, food goes bad just because we didn’t store it properly. Place food in airtight containers to expand the shelf life of your food. So treat yo’self to some top-notch Tupperware.

#SpoonTip: Remember that your freezer can be your best friend and can extend the lifespan of your foods, such as meat and produce. 

4. Be creative

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As college students, creativity is key when it comes to cooking. So isn’t it even more awesome that we can utilize this creativity to reduce food waste? If you have a banana that’s too ripe, go ahead and add it into a smoothie or make some banana bread with it.  

5. Pay attention to labels

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We know, it’s like reading the Terms of Agreement on iTunes. We know no one does it, but they definitely should. By checking Sell By and Use By dates you can drastically decrease the amount of food you throw out because you won’t be buying food that expires the next day.

6. Give back

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The most important way to reduce food waste is to donate your unused food to local food banks, homeless shelters, or churches. According to Feeding America, there are about 48 million people in the United States alone who live with food insecurity, which means that they don’t have reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable and nutritious food.


May you not only eat and drink to your heart’s content this holiday season, but also remember to give back and appreciate all you have to be thankful for. Happy holidays from Spoon UCD!

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