Grindrod-based business owner, Afke Zonderland is nominated for a Small Business BC award. Her home-based business, Okanagan Rawsome has been in operation in the North Okanagan for ten years. (Promise Photography)

Column: Food waste and meal planning

No matter how sustainably our food is farmed, if it’s not being eaten, it is not a good use of resources.”

It is estimated that 40 per cent of all the food produced in North America ends up in the landfill.

Slightly stale dated grocery items, day old bread and wilted veggies are thrown in the waste bins behind stores.

Uneaten food at restaurants that serve larger than life portions likewise end up in the garbage or are taken home to feed grateful puppies.

Are you finding food, even cooked and lovingly prepared food in the back of the fridge that has gone bad?

I dig to the bottom of our freezer every spring and generally find a few bags of last year’s asparagus or green beans all “burned” tough and stringy.

The fact that at least this food ends up in our compost minimizes my chagrin, but it is a super-stupid waste nonetheless.

Proper meal planning is one way to avoid food waste. It is a valuable practice for the inexperienced cooks and busy moms and dads to plan a week in advance and shop accordingly.

You can sign up on line to have a personalized meal plan sent to you complete with a shopping list. (vegetarian, keto, paleo gluten or dairy free etc.)

Perhaps you love to sit down with a few cookbooks one night a week and choose three or more new recipes to add to the family’s favorite standby’s.

Quick tips

• Washing and storing your fresh produce as soon as you come home from your shopping trip is a great habit to get into.

Chopping onions and carrots, grating cheese or juicing lemons in one mega pre-prep. You are much less likely to order take out when you have half the ingredients prepared.

• Keep your pantry well stocked with dried and canned staples.

• Make big batches and re-purpose.

• Keep recipes simple.

Recipe to try

A big batch of Mini Frittatas

(Freezes well. Makes 12 muffins)

1 tbsp butter

½ cup red onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper or asparagus chopped

2 cups chopped spinach

10 eggs

½ cup whipping cream

½ cup crumbled feta

1 cup grated cheese

¼ cup parsley, salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 12 muffin tins

Melt butter and cook onions, pepper until softened, add spinach and stir until wilted. Cool mixture slightly.

Mix eggs, cream, salt and pepper with cheeses and add cooked veggies.

Stir and spoon into muffin tins. Garnish with finely chopped parsley.

-Afke Zonderland is a raw food chef and founder of Okanagan Rawsome Living Whole Foods.

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