Sustainability : reducing food waste
At LivingClay, we believe that good design and sustainability go hand in hand. In short, good design is always easier on the planet. We try very consciously to integrate good and sustainable design in every aspect of the business as well as in our everyday lives.
Remember those childhood days? With grown-ups in the family and outside telling us "finish all that you have on your plate" or "Don't help yourself to it if you don't want it".
Today roughly one-third of the food produced for human consumption is wasted. True and extremely tragic. This is partially due to poor distribution, our preference for “perfect” looking produce and of course, the food that goes bad in our own kitchens.
Really speaking, it all can start with us at home. Here's how.
I Plan your cooking and shopping
Plan your cooking for the next few days (think of guests you are likely to invite, tiffins to be packed, favourites etc) Plan your shopping especially groceries and produce for the next 4-5 days or maximum a week. So, be watchful of the quantities you buy and the numbers to be fed. This way you will avoid extra vegetables occupying space or getting spoilt.
Also shop what is in season and what is locally produced. It's a way to make sure you get the best and tastiest fruits and vegetables of the season.
II. Storing produce
Once back from shopping, its a good idea to quickly sort out vegetables and fruits and groceries and do a clean up of the fridge shelves.
The greens need to be consumed earlier as they are likely to spoil sooner. Quickly clean and de-stem and store them away all wrapped in paper in the fridge. Mark the bag if you like.
III. Fridge checks
Every 4-5 days check the fridge shelves for any left overs, old vegetables, stale or over ripe produce.
You'll be surprised how creative one can get with left overs. Use them up before they really go bad and are fit only for the bin.
Above is a dosa paired with some left over snake gourd "sabji".
IV. Home cooking
There couldn't be a better family activity than cooking together at home. Don't see it as a drudgery, but as something a family can do together for everyone. From planning the meal, cleaning and chopping, cooking, laying the table, eating together, clearing up the table and putting left overs away - everything can be shared and done fast and efficiently.
I remember watching "Cooked" - a programme by Michael Pollan on Netflix. It was all about how "cooking transforms food and shapes the world".
It's time we enjoy the process of cooking as much as we enjoy eating - experiment with steamed dishes, baked delicacies from the world over or even squeezing out fresh juice for breakfast. It's madly satisfying at the end of the day.
TIP: Every time you open a new bottle or packet of bought food (oil, pickle etc), don't forget to mark the start date. It's easier that way to track consumption.
It's our Earth. Let's show her some love!
Happy Earth day