Andrew Zimmern has two simple concepts for reducing food waste

Andrew Zimmern for Aldi, photo provided by Aldi
Andrew Zimmern for Aldi, photo provided by Aldi /

While Andrew Zimmern has influenced food trends for decades, now he is directing the conversation towards food waste. As a tireless advocate for food related causes, Zimmern appreciates that small change can create a ripple effect. Still, everyone needs to commit to make a difference.

In partnership with Aldi, Zimmern broke down several concepts that can help reduce food waste. Since chefs can often use their platform to raise awareness for important social issues, this collaboration was an easy one for the celebrated chef.

Over the years, Zimmern has tirelessly fought for causes that he believes in. From helping caregivers to ending food insecurity, he appreciates that his voice can catalyst for change.

During a recent conversation with Zimmern, he shared two easy, approachable and doable changes that will instantly reduce a family’s food waste. While many people have joked about that rotating bagged salad in the produce drawer that never seems to be eaten, Zimmern believes that there could be an easy way to solve that situation.

Andrew Zimmern tackles food waste with two simple changes in the kitchen.

Zimmern shared two ideas that any family can adapt. First, Zimmern suggests that the refrigerator has to change. He believes by taking out a shelf or two in the refrigerator will make a big difference in food waste.

After a moment of thought, the concept makes perfect sense. When was the last time that you cleaned out the refrigerator? From that bottle of Dijon mustard hidden in the back crevice to the forgotten container of mashed potatoes from Sunday supper, there is always something that gets buried in the refrigerator.

While many families subscribe to the idea that a bigger refrigerator can be better, the reality is that bigger can mean that food gets lost on those shelves. By removing a shelf, taking out a bin or re-configuring the space in another way, the refrigerator is less likely to have all that extra space that families fill with food.

Instead of overbuying and under-utilizing, families will purchase and use the food that they need. In turn, less food will hit the garbage can. That idea is good not only for the wallet but more importantly for the environment.

Second, Zimmern recommends keeping a writing pad near the garbage can. When a food item gets thrown away, he suggests writing it down. Similar to how some food lifestyle choices recommend journaling to change food habits, this method can help families visually see the food that they do not use.

If certain foods are only half eaten (or never eaten like that bagged salad), those items should never be on the grocery list to buy. Again, it is bad for the wallet and bad for the environment.

Although the habit of writing all of the food down might take some practice, the results could be a big game changer. While food waste is the primary focus, that list could reveal other food habits. Maybe it could spark a conversation about eating more fruits, vegetables or protein.

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Sometimes the most lasting changes start with a little nudge. From that pad by the garbage can to a refrigerator reconfiguration, families can appreciate the difference and an impact on food waste. What change will you make today?