Meal prepping has become so popular these days. It’s an amazing way to eat healthier while saving time and money. But did you know that meal prepping is also good for the environment?
You’re wondering what planning your meals in advance has to do with helping the planet, right? Well it’s simple.
When you meal prep, you are creating less waste. More specifically, you are reducing food wastage.
Why is food wastage is an issue?
Did you know what food wastage is one of the leading causes of climate change? Surprisingly, almost 1/3 of all the food produced goes to waste. Some reasons include production issues or grocery stores overbuying food.
But we’re also to blame.
Think of all the fruits and vegetables we don’t buy because they’re ‘ugly’ (you know the weird looking grapes or the bruised apple). Or what about all the food we put on our plate at the dinner table but don’t end up finishing.
Not to mention the food we buy thinking we’ll cook it but end up forgetting about in our fridge.
When we throw out food, it’s a waste of all the energy, resources and water used to produce it. Then when food goes to the landfill instead of compost, it releases methane. Methane is the greenhouse gas that is responsible for heating up our planet.
In other words: we don’t like methane.
North America is a wasteful society. We need to do better. There’s plenty of ways to reduce our food wastage that you can read about here.
One way that’s helping reduce food wastage that we don’t realize is meal prepping!
How exactly does meal prepping reduce waste?
1. You have to create a list
When you have a grocery list, you know exactly what you need to buy and how much of it.
This will prevent you from impulse buying snacks that you may never eat. Or from overbuying fruits and vegetables and having them rot in the back of our fridges.
2. You use all the grocery items
Since you know exactly what ingredients you need to make your meals, you don’t buy too much of an item. Once you buy all the ingredients you need, you know to use the whole thing.
Instead of buying too many cucumbers, you can evenly distribute it among your meal prep dishes to make sure you use all of it.
3. You’re smart with your leftovers
If you do happen to have leftovers of a vegetable, you’re smart with it. Instead of throwing it out, you use it.
You can make dishes with your leftovers instead of buying more of that vegetable. Or you can freeze the leftovers for later.
If you have leftover veggies from this week’s meal prep, you also make sure to incorporate it in next week’s dishes. This will make sure you eat it before it goes bad and has to be thrown out.
4. You eat less fast food
Fast food comes with a lot of waste. Think of all the styrofoam containers, plastic utensils, and plastic bags that come with each order.
Also, how many times have you bought fast food and forgotten to eat the leftovers until a week later?
Nowadays due to the pandemic, fast food companies are using more single use plastic than ever. Of course this is to prevent the spread of COVID. But it’s still wasteful.
Not to mention that using services such as UberEats and Doordash needs more disposable packaging than picking up our own order at the store.
If you are going to order in, picking up your food is more eco-friendly than using a delivery service.
Also, when you meal prep at home, you use reusable plates, pans and utensils. This alone is preventing tons of waste from ending up in the landfills.
Get Started Meal Prepping
Meal prepping is an amazing way to help not only the environment but also free up your time. It’s really easy to do. All you need to do is sit down and plan for it.
If you’re interested in meal prepping, check out an in-depth article on 10 meal prep tips to get you started!
Leave a comment down below if you meal prep and let me know what your favourite meal prep dish it!
Originally published at https://sustainably-yours.com on November 9, 2020.