Love Food Friday
Food Waste Elimination Tip #5: Purge the Pantry!
Chef Christopher Gigiel
Use it so that you don’t lose it!
While you’re getting into that habit of planning meals and menus and organizing your kitchen, be sure to plan one day a week that uses what you have on hand. No matter how well you plan there are always leftovers, and left over groceries that need to be used. I do this regularly in the Culinary Center at NCBA. I often have extra produce on hand and get creative with how I can use it instead of buying more. I look at my canned goods and dry storage and see what I have on hand already and plan something that utilizes those things with a minimum of additional purchases required. And, of course, if you have several kinds of leftovers in the fridge and haven’t frozen them it’s always great for the family to be able to “make what they want” for dinner, and if there’s still some left, freeze it.
Love Food Friday Recipe Share #5: Four-Way Slow Cooker Shredded Beef
Love Food Friday
Food Waste Elimination Tip #1: Get organized and PLAN!
Chef Christopher Gigiel
One thing that sets professional chefs apart, as a group, is that we are planners. We don’t like flying by the seat of our pants. We have a plan, and a backup plan, and a backup plan for our back up plan.
When we’re talking about food, this means we plan a menu and shop for that menu. Most commercial food establishments operate on a very slim profit margin and food waste can make the different between profitability and loss. Therefore, food waste is often at the forefront of my mind.
I plan my menu and shop for what I need for that menu, and go to the store with a list. I do the same thing in my personal life – I’m much less likely to impulse buy or purchase things because they’re on sale if I have a list and stick to it. This also means that I’m not purchasing excess without a solid plan of what I’m going to do with it and what I buy is much less likely to go to waste.
I know in our busy lives it’s difficult to carve out the time to plan, and often the decision of what we’re eating for dinner is only made several hours before it needs to be on the table, but I promise you if you’ll start the habit you’ll waste a lot less, and save some money too.
Love Food Friday Recipe Share #1 : Asian Beef and Vegetable Stir-Fry
Click here for the recipe!
Beef, It’s What’s For Dinner 🙂
The United Kingdom launched a large scale public awareness campaign called “Love Food Hate Waste” in 2006-2007. Data taken by the WRAP demonstrated that this campaign successfully reduced avoidable household food waste in the U.K. by 21% from 2007-2012. I believe these to be impressive results accomplished relatively quickly and with reportedly little inconvenience to the citizen.
Recognizing food waste and making a conscious decision to improve provides the most important key to reducing food waste in the home. Following that with understanding labeling, being willing to purchase produce that is not “visually perfect”, and either correct portioning or a dedication to eating leftovers provide some of the basic cornerstones.
In an effort to continue to raise awareness relative to food waste, and also to give each of you some practical tips for reducing waste in your kitchen; I am beginning a season of Love Food Friday. This spring, I am enlisting the help of professional chef Christopher Gigiel to offer a tip for eliminating food waste each Friday. I am also hoping that he will share a few of his favorite beef recipes as well!
Christopher joins us from Denver, Colorado where he manages the day-to-day operations of the Beef Culinary Center, caters in house meetings and events with recipes that prominently feature beef, and works with the Beef Innovation Team on recipe and new-product development.
He has worked with the beef checkoff program since the spring of 2014. A Johnson & Wales University alum, Christopher earned his Associates of Science in Culinary Arts and Bachelors of Science in Food Service Management. In addition, he held a Culinary Fellowship where he taught culinary lab classes and helped manage the operations of the culinary building.
Prior to working with the checkoff, he served as Food Service Director for a non-profit in Eastern Pennsylvania where he revitalized their culinary program. When he’s not in the kitchen, you can find him cycling throughout the Mile High City which boasts more than 850 miles of bicycling adventures or camped out in a local coffee shop with a book and caffeinated beverage in hand.
I am really excited about this series as it brings practical tips for reducing food waste to all of us as we work on this journey of continuous improvement 🙂
Please help me to welcome Christopher to the Feed Yard Foodie Family for the Love Food Friday series!