It’s estimated that more than 18,000 tonnes of food waste goes to local composting facilities each year, much of it at the holidays, but a little pre-planning can make a big difference!

8 ways to love food, reduce waste and save this holiday!

‘Tis the season to shop wisely and dress up your leftovers

As the calendar turns to December, it also heralds the season of delicious excess, with its turkey-induced belt-loosening and too many sweet indulgences.

But it’s also a time when food waste rises considerably, due in part to generous hosts and a desire to unwrap nostalgic recipes that may not have the fans they once did.

“It’s estimated that more than 18,000 tonnes of food waste goes to local composting facilities each year, much of it at the holidays,” says Russ Smith, senior manager of the CRD’s Environmental Resource Management team. “And, according to the CRD’s 2016 waste stream composition study, avoidable food waste, such as cooked vegetables, stale bread and meal leftovers, makes up about 10 per cent of our overall waste.”

That waste costs. According to the national Love Food Hate Waste project, each year the average Canadian household throws away about $1,100 of groceries that could have otherwise been eaten.

How can you avoid holiday food waste?

  1. Plan your portions. Reducing holiday food waste starts with rethinking how we shop. Few want to eat three-day-old turkey, so think about portions and your desired leftovers, then size your bird and sides accordingly.
  2. Break from tradition. Don’t buy Christmas food your family and friends don’t actually like – holiday meals are meant to be enjoyed, not endured! No Brussels sprouts fans? Serve a different vegetable to keep them out of your kitchen scraps bin. Turkey not their thing? Opt for a beautiful roast or ham instead.
  3. Clean out the fridge. Don’t shop too far in advance and before you shop, use up food that needs to be eaten to clear space in your fridge and freezer for new leftovers.
  4. Make a list, check it twice. Make a plan for your leftovers. Add ingredients you’ll need for turkey soup or sandwiches to your grocery list and try to choose ingredients that will have multiple uses. Want to serve cheese and charcuterie appies on Christmas Day? Choose items you can also use at your Boxing Day brunch.
  5. Save the fat. Rendered fat from your roast can be saved in the fridge for weeks to be used in future sauces, soups or stews. Even if you don’t save it, fats, oils and greases don’t belong in the drain. Pour cool grease or fat into a compostable container for disposal in your kitchen scraps bin (if your municipality offers this program) or, once full, place it in your garbage. Visit www.crd.bc.ca/fats for details.
  6. Send food out the door. Sharing leftovers is as much a part of Christmas as turkey fatigue and pumpkin pie. Ask guests to bring re-usable containers for leftovers.
  7. Step up your leftovers game. Get creative – after all, there’s more to surplus turkey than sandwiches, including curry, pot pie, casserole and even mashed potato gnocchi. Then use the carcass for a stock, a great base for soups, stews and risottos.
  8. Put it on ice. Get leftovers into the fridge one to two hours after serving dinner and freeze any food you won’t use within 48 hours. Frozen vegetables, for example, can be turned into a delicious future dip or used to make stock. Yum!

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Rickter Scale: Children in the eye of the porn storm

The Rickter Scale is a weekly column

BC Ferries’ two new hybrid vessels set sail for B.C. from Romania

Two Island Class ferries to be in use by 2020

Oak Bay is the second-least dangerous community in Canada according crime index

Victoria and Esquimalt ranks 32nd in Canada, 9th in British Columbia

Plant-based pizza restaurant to open its doors in Victoria this December

Virtuous Pie has locations in Vancouver, Toronto and Portland

VIDEO: Ron MacLean says he doesn’t believe former co-host Don Cherry is racist

Sportsnet fired Cherry on Nov. 11, two days after controversial on-air comments during ‘Coach’s Corner’

POLL: Do you plan on making any purchases on Black Friday?

We’ve all seen the images. Shoppers rioting outside of a store in… Continue reading

Distracted driving tickets not for ICBC revenue, B.C. minister says

Minister Mike Farnworth calls SenseBC analysis ‘nonsense’

CN Rail strike and lack of trucking alternatives stoke forest industry fears

Companies calling on the federal government to ‘do everything in its power’ to end the strike

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveils new Liberal cabinet

Pivotal role in his new cabinet for a minority-government era goes to Chrystia Freeland

B.C. woman puts call out for 10,000 personal, heartfelt Christmas cards for the homeless

Christmas Card Collective enters into third year of making spirits bright

No turn signals, double-parking among top concerns for B.C. drivers: poll

Two-thirds of B.C. drivers said that not using turn signals was their biggest pet peeve

1 dead, 2 seriously injured in crash with elk on Hwy. 18 in Cowichan

North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP were called to the scene at about 8 p.m. Tuesday night

Man accused in fatal Shuswap church shooting also charged with arson

Parmenter family home badly damaged by fire a month before killing

Most Read