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

Almost four of 10 Canadians have unlimited internet data at home

Fifty-four per cent say they telecommute at least sometimes

Esquimalt needs urgent health care facility, mayor says

A severe doctor shortage is leaving Esquimalt residents scrambling for health care

Student Voice: Saanich students launch competitive robotics team

The Reynolds Reybots plan to share their skills with middle schools

Royal BC Museum’s newest series takes visitors behind the scenes

Adult sessions explores art, nature, history and more

Budget surpasses $3m for ‘absolutely necessary’ Lubbe Dam work

Reservoir represents about 30 per cent of the total storage in the Goldstream Water Supply System

What are the worst parking spots in Victoria?

We are looking for the worst places in the city to park and need your opinion

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Scientists ID another possible threat to orcas: pink salmon

For two decades, significantly more of the whales have died in even-numbered years than in odd years

Burnaby byelection turmoil sparks debate about identity issues in politics

The Liberals still have not said whether they plan to replace Wang, who stepped aside Wednesday

Most Read