Preserving Food: Understanding Food Waste, Part 3

We have been looking at what food waste means and ways to reduce its occurrence. Knowing how much food to purchase and how to store that food are important factors in reducing waste. Another important factor is preserving the food. Here are some ways you can preserve your food to waste as little as possible (or none at all).

  1. Drying

This is a simple, and the least expensive, method for preserving your food. This can be done with an oven or a dehydrator. You can dry fruit, vegetables, and meat (for jerky). Once dried, you will want to be sure to keep the food products in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. (Pinterest offers some great dried fruit recipes.)

  1. Freezing

Because a refrigerator-freezer typically sits around 32 degrees F, this method should use small but regular use of fruit.

  1. Pickling

This process can not only preserve your food, but it also adds a tasty tang to the product. If you are interested in learning more about pickling, the Common Market offers a pickling class, hosted by Sweet Farm owner Rachel Armistead.

  1. Canning

This method of preservation heats the food to kill any bacteria, and then the food is stored in a vacuum sealed container.

You can find more detailed information about these food preservation methods here.

Even leftovers can be preserved to reduce food waste. Bacon grease can be used in cooking. (The plus: it adds a subtle bacon flavor to the dish.) Bones can be used to make soup stock. Leftover meals can be frozen to be enjoyed later.

Do you have other ideas for food preservation? Let us know!