Creative Ways to Help Reduce Food Waste

Creative Ways to Help Reduce Food Waste

November 8, 2017

An astonishing 130 billion of pounds of food is wasted every year and the most wasted are nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables, dairy and grains (United States Environmental Protection Agency). To get the conversation started, post these graphics on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or use these animations to help educate people on the scope of the problem while also providing ways we can start to combat food waste. 

Quaker has partnered with the James Beard Foundation (JBF) to inspire people to re-think the power of the oat, and to identify ways we can recover more of our food, while discovering nutritious, delicious ways to eat through the More Taste, Less Waste campaign. The campaign kicked off with a contest that asked JBF’s network of culinary professionals to create recipes that use Quaker Oats as a foundation for ‘recovering foods’ that might be wasted and ‘discovering’ creative ways to get the most nutrition out of every bite we eat.

By getting creative in the kitchen and tapping into the nutrition power of the oat, we can all contribute to reducing food waste and food insecurity, especially during the holiday season when, on average, people waste 5 million pounds of food between Thanksgiving and New Year’s (NRDC). In fact:

  • By keeping wholesome, nutritious food in our communities and out of our landfills, we can help address the 42 million Americans that live in food insecure households (NRDC).
  • Reducing our nation’s food waste by just 15% would be enough to feed more than 25 million Americans annually (NRDC).

To get you and your shoppers started on reducing food waste, plan a cooking demo highlighting how consumers can utilize the oats in their pantry as a blank canvas to creating a nutritious meal. Here are a few ideas: 

  • Give leftovers a second chance. Holidays inevitably mean leftovers, but if eating the same thing again sounds boring, here’s how you can liven them up:
    • Add extra turkey or veggies to oats for a savory alternative to your usual oatmeal routine.
    • Use mashed potatoes to make potato pancakes and add oats to help bind the cakes and keep them from falling apart.
  • Reimagine “ugly” fruits and veggies. Think twice about tossing overripe produce. Even the peels of fruits and vegetables can be used – and they typically contain nutritional benefits like fiber, vitamins and antioxidants. 
    • The thought of eating overripe produce or the peels of fruit isn’t always appealing. However, a smoothie is a great place to use up a banana peel or a fuzzy kiwi skin. Adding oats to a smoothie will thicken it.
    • Increase flavor and provide more nutrition by adding wilting veggies to soups and casseroles. Or make your own vegetable stock using the parts of vegetables you would otherwise toss, like the papery skins of onions, carrot peels or bottom of the celery stalk.

If you’re looking for additional inspiration in the kitchen, you can find more recipe ideas on Quaker’s Pinterest board.