August 29, 2022 | 12:32pm
MANILA, Philippines — Food waste is a serious concern especially these days when inflation and rising prices affect the way we shop or budget our food.
According to the UN Environment Program, food loss and food waste are responsible for 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, consumers waste 74 kilograms or more food on average than their own body weight every year.
Before you throw out any food scraps or store your freshly bought produce, it is best that you know how to make the best out of them, so you will not throw them out once you think they have served their purpose or once they start going stale.
Apart from preventing food waste, it is also wise that you know how to “stretch out” your food and be creative on how to maximize their uses for a longer period of time.
We’ve compiled a list from foodies and chefs who have shared their food hacks and tricks that helped them reduce their food waste and prolong the shelf life of their produce and food stock. There are also bonus easy-to-do recipes with the cheapest ingredients.
Stretch out your meat by cutting them into portions
Content creator Gina Zakaria has been giving out budget and grocery tips on her TikTok account. When inflation hit, it did not stop her from cutting on meat. Instead, she started cutting her meat into smaller bite size pieces like she did with a chicken breast recipe.
Don’t throw away the bread ends or any extra bread at all
Those who make their sandwiches with just the loaf bread, Zakaria urged them not to throw the bread ends. They can make these into bread crumbs, which can be used as breading for your favorite deep-fried chicken or vegetables.
“Food waste is money waste and the goal is to save money on groceries,” Zakaria said.
Cucumbers, potatoes should not be stored inside the fridge
Popular TikTok creator Armen Adamjan or known as Creative Explained gives the lowdown on how to maximize the lifespan of your greens and produce so they will not end up in your trashbin. Apart from the above-mentioned tip, he also shared that you can wrap your lettuce in foil and they will be kept fresh inside the fridge for 30 days. Scallions and asparagus will also last for 10 to 14 days when they are put inside a jar with water with a plastic bag loosely tied on its top ends.
@creative_explained How to save money & reduce waste! ???? #fresh #fruit #vegetables #plantbased #lifehacks #cookinghacks #cookingtiktok #foodie #recipe #howto #learn ? original sound – Armen Adamjan
Make a vegetable stock
Chef Eugene Wong said that those tiny bits of onion skin or the stalk of leek can still be of great use.
“It’s really easy to make veg stock and it’s free,” he said on his TikTok video.
Freezing is an underrated food preservation method
Yes, many food items can be meal-prepped and frozen for months to keep them fresh. Even your beloved bread and most cheeses can be cut into pieces and stored in the freezer.
“Freezing is seriously the most underrated method of avoiding food waste!” Tiktok user Brennan Kai said, as she froze her vegetable chili she would be consuming for the weeks to come.
Don’t sleep on rotisserie chicken a.k.a lechon manok
Reddit user whodunit131box answered a poll on grocery hacks amid inflation by sharing how she makes different dishes using rotiserrie chicken.
“A rotisserie chicken is cheaper than an uncooked chicken at the wholesale club, so I buy two of them and can make at least four dinners out of it for two older teen boys and two adults,” she wrote.
Store dairy and milk at the back corner of your fridge
Also, separate your bananas from each other and store in a basket.
“The door of the fridge is one of the warmest spots. Always store dairy on the shelf or toward the back of your fridge where it tends to be coldest,” advised lifestyle and budgeting enthusiast Jordan Page on her YouTube video.
Cook in large batches, buy canned and frozen vegetables
The team of YouNeedABudget shared these money-saving tips for the long days especially when some produce are not in season. Cooking by large batches also is a wise tip as these can also be frozen for the coming days.
As a bonus, here’s Erwan Heussaff giving four, easy-to-follow yet cheap recipes under P100:
He gives the step-by-step and costing per recipe. Elevate your usual kangkong, sardines, tofu, munggo, and Ginataan with his recipes.
“Ginataan is probably one of the most commonly used techniques in cooking in the Philippines and it’s something that I wished more people would spend some time more on in terms of elevating it,” Erwan said.
Check out his video: