Lesson 5: What to do before, during and after the purchase.

BEFORE CONSUMING | To plan:

Planning the weekly menu, in addition to saving and buying efficiently, also contributes to following healthier eating. The first and fundamental thing to prepare the weekly menu is to know that the experts in nutrition recommend eating at least five meals a day. Therefore, the ideal It would be this distribution: breakfast, mid-morning, lunch, snack and dinner.

A practical way to avoid food waste is to shop right. This requires prior planning and organization work. Scheduling the weekly menu, for example, will help you to know more precisely what products you are going to need, approximate amounts for the next few days, what products you have at home, in the pantry, in the fridge or in the freezer you can take advantage of. and which ones you should buy according to your needs. Bearing all these points in mind, it is time to go to the point of sale to buy the products that we need for the next few days or weeks.

There is a double objective for a correct storage. On the one hand, to ensure that there is sufficient availability of products at home and they are placed in such a way that they are easy to locate and, on the other hand, to guarantee that we have the necessary food to prepare the menu that you have previously planned. We usually consume those foods that we have bought most recently. The only reason that explains this trend is that we tend to place newly purchased products at the top of the shelf, cabinet, fridge, etc. Keep in mind the motto: FIRST IN, FIRST OUT.

DURING CONSUMING | To plan:

Cooking using the right amounts of ingredients for the number of guests that will be at the table is essential for good management of the food we buy. Overcooking is fine if we do it with the intention of freezing the leftovers and having the dish available for the next few days or weeks, but doing it without control or without a specific purpose can lead us to eat more than what our body needs and favor the weight gain.

In general, a diet based on local products and purchased in bulk is more sustainable. However, this is not always possible, so it is then necessary to ensure that the packaged products that are purchased come from brands that have implemented sustainability plans. What foods tend to have a greater impact on the environment? Broadly speaking, we can say that foods of animal origin have a greater impact than those of plant origin, since the cycle until the final product is obtained is longer.

Inform the restaurateur if your appetite is limited and you prefer a smaller portion, if you are going to do without the side dish or prefer another type, or if you are not going to have dessert, for example. Children’s rations are also a source of waste reduction. Surely a smaller plate will satisfy your appetite. Why ask for a portion if you know in advance that they will not finish it? A side dish of French fries, for example, is approximately 200 grams. If only 5 customers give it up without prior notice, it means a waste of 1 kilo per day which, at the end of the year, represents more than 350 kilos of potatoes, just potatoes. You can do the calculation with vegetables, rice, salad, meat or fish. If you go to a free buffet, avoid eating through your eyes. If they offer you kind products (bread, olives, sausage, etc.) and you are not going to consume them, let them know. If, despite the measures mentioned so far, there is food or drink left over, take it home. do not be ashamed!

AFTER CONSUMING | To plan:

Cover and chill leftover meals if not frozen for up to 90 minutes. Always consume them within the next two days. Leftovers from the freezer should be consumed within three months. You can defrost them in the microwave and, if not, the night before in the fridge. Never refreeze thawed leftovers.

Did you know that it takes 450 liters of water to produce a single chicken egg? And 140 liters for a cup of coffee? And 2,400 liters of water for a hamburger? In this sense, the water footprint is the indicator that takes into account and helps us to know the volume of water necessary to produce the goods and services consumed by the inhabitants of a country. In calculating the water footprint, each step of the process adds up: Cultivation + Distribution + Sale + Internal consumption.

The largest amount of waste is generated in the kitchen; the vast majority from packaging and food. That is why it is so necessary that we all follow the steps to treat this waste and give it the appropriate use and destination. Start by locating a strategic recycling point in the home. It should be a place that everyone in the family can easily see. Place 4 different containers at this point, one for each type of waste.