Giving Up Food Waste For Lent: Five Tools

giving up food waste for lent

It’s Ash Wednesday, and after I finish this post up, I’ll be heading out to get my ashes on the forehead. I’ll also be giving some thought to what practice I plan to either adopt or give up during the Lenten season. I often try to pick something tied to my environmental commitments, so I was intrigued when I came across the idea of giving up food waste for Lent. I like to think I’m doing pretty well on this front, but we all know the facts here: we Americans waste 40% of our food as it travels from farm to table.

So, I started poking around for ways to address food waste at home during the Lenten season. You don’t have to be a person of faith to make use of these practices, though: they’re completely agnostic.

Pancakes, pancakes, pancakes: I got the idea for this post from CIWM Journal‘s article on Hubbub’s focus on pancakes as a way to address food waste during Lent. Sure, flapjacks are the traditional meal for Shrove Tuesday (aka Mardi Gras), but there’s no reason you can’t eat them during the rest of the season leading up to Easter… and get creative with them. Hubbub has released an ebook of pancake recipes from around the world, which, hopefully, will inspire you to think about what you’ve got in the fridge or the pantry that could be turned into a pancake (or a waffle if you really want to use the iron).

There’s an App for That: As I’ve focused more on using up leftovers, I’ve discovered I’ve got a knack for figuring out what I might do with what we’ve got (or, at least, for using Google to help me figure it out!). If that’s not a talent of yours, the Handpick app is designed to help you find recipes (or, at least meal ideas) for whatever you’ve got on hand. Twilight Greenaway has the details at Civil Eats. iOS only at this point…

Plan Your Meals, and Avoid the Waste: If you really want to avoid wasting food, planning your meals and shopping for them is the way to go. Lifehacker runs down five apps that help you plan menus, and create shopping lists for them.

Reorganize Your Refrigerator: It never occurred to me that how we place food in our refrigerators helps up keep from wasting food, but this infographic from PartSelect shows you how to best utilize that space and the temperature differentials inside it.

OK, One More App: Yeah, I know – this is turning into a list of smartphone apps, but they’re so damn helpful. I came across Leftover Swap a while back on my neighborhood’s NextDoor conversation, and have just been waiting to mention it. Got leftovers? Want leftovers? Use this app to share what you’ve got, or find out what others are giving away…

Thinking about giving up food waste for Lent? Or got other waste-related practices you plan to address? Share your ideas and plans with us in the comments.

Image credit: and to dust we shall return via photopin (license)

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