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National Nutrition Month: "Go Further with Food”

posted Mar 2, 2018, 9:03 AM by Evangelina DiSpirito, RDN, E-RYT   [ updated Mar 3, 2018, 12:43 PM ]

By: Evangelina DiSpirito, RDN, LDN, E-RYT

It’s National Nutrition Month, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has set a “Go Further with Food” campaign, which encourages you to take your eating and lifestyle habits to a healthier and socially-responsible level.  IL Creations’ Registered Dietitians will be out during the month of March to ask a key question, “How much food do you throw away each week”?    This question is an important one that we all need to ask ourselves, as a family and as a community.    If we are tossing out food each week, especially fruits and vegetables, there is a chance we are not getting the essential nutrients we need.  It also contributes to food waste.  According to the USDA’s economic research center, between 30-40 percent of the United States food supply is wasted.  In 2014, USDA and EPA partnered for the U.S. Food Waste Challenge to help reduce food waste.  The goal set by USDA and EPA is to reduce food waste by 50 percent by 2030.  To learn more about the USDA and EPA joint Food Waste Challenge click on this link Reduce, Recycle, RecoverLet’s take a look at some key areas where you can help to positively impact health and environment today.

1)          Start with a clean slate each week.  Audit your refrigerator and pantry and think of the meals you can make with existing food inventory.  Then generate a grocery list and commit to only purchase what is on the list.

2)          Challenge yourself not to let the “Crisper become the Rotter” in your refrigerator.  Purchase frozen vegetables and tub-mixed salads to prevent spoilage from underuse.  Accessible fruits and vegetables make it easy for us to use in recipes. 

3)          Get creative with leftovers.  If you make a meal with a side dish like rice, potatoes or quinoa, then think of another meal to pair those same items with. For example, you make stuffed portabella mushrooms with quinoa.  The extra quinoa can be used to make a mixed-grain and bean salad the following day.  See our “mixed grain and bean salad recipe” as well as much more recipes on our website by clicking this link, RECIPES.  

4)          Make less food at each meal to prevent food waste.  It’s not about finishing your plate; it’s about being mindful of not making more food than your body needs. 

5)          Take part in the IL Creations (ILC) café daily “Happy Hour”.  ILC strives to be creative and resourceful in reducing food loss.  ILC offers a daily Happy Hour at each unit at the end of the day. This  Happy Hour not only gives customers a great opportunity to save money but ensures that we sell out as best as possible with no "left-over food".   

For more creative ways on how you can extend your food in your home, contact our registered dietitians at  ILC Registered dietitians are available to present on this topic and more.