How often did your mother used to say “there are hungry children in Africa” when you didn’t clean your plate? I know I just wanted to shout “they can have my vegetables!” I guess mom is always right, because eventually I learned to eat my vegetables, plus how to shop, cook, and eat more efficiently. Sadly, many of us did not, because according to the NPR we now waste twice as much food as we did in 1970.

Clean your plate your plate young lady

That amounts to $165,000,000.00 worth of food, and 40% of what we produce going to waste!  What makes these figures even more obscene is that one out of every six Americans are food insecure (lacking steady access to nutritionally adequate foods) today – not to mention what it does to our environment, filling our landfills, and accounting for 25% of ozone damaging methane gas emissions. Just yesterday the LA Times ran a story calling for clearer labeling since consumers are so confused by what “best by”, “sell by”, and “use by” actually mean, and are throwing out perfectly good food every day.

The NPR blog post goes on to cite five interesting things people are doing to reduce this appalling waste on large scale government and corporate levels, my favorite among them being Arizona State University’s FlashFood App, so I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to explain how the Personal Chef Approach™ (PCA) can help you make a difference at home too.

Use the Personal Chef Approach philosophy to plan, shop, and cook to cut down on food wasted

Use the Personal Chef Approach philosophy to plan, shop, and cook to cut down on food wasted

You can implement all of the solutions below by just applying the Personal Chef Approach™ philosophy to how you plan, shop, and cook for your household on your own. You can also buy weekly menu plans individually, or try PCA membership for one month free here. It does help streamline the process – saving you time and money, while giving you sophisticated tools and support to master the approach.

1). Do make grocery lists: Buy only what you need. Don’t be sucked into buying sale items in huge quantities you don’t need, because if it goes to waste it didn’t save you anything, it cost you money! The same goes for buying your food haphazardly – when you have a planned menu in mind before shopping – chances are you will use everything you purchase. Personal Chef Approach™ menu plans automatically generate organized lists of ingredients you’ll need to make your meals for the week, making this process super fast and easy. Just tick off the ingredients you already have at home, add any other household or personal products you require, and shop.

Automatic grocery list from our "Build Your Own Custom Menu" tool

Automatic grocery list from our “Build Your Own Custom Menu” tool

2). Make just one trip: Get all of your shopping done in one quick trip to the store per week (which also means both fuel and time conservation). You’ll save time, energy, and ensure you learn to shop efficiently.

3). Cook your meals in advance: We tend to shop with good intentions, but then procrastinate and by the time we get around to cooking, sometimes our ingredients have spoiled. When you apply the concept of the PCA to your own kitchen, everything gets prepared, packaged and stored while it is still fresh.

Prep and cook your meals in advance

Prep and cook your meals in advance

4). Flexibility: Even when your plans change last minute, your prepared meals do not go to waste – just pop them in the freezer for a later date.

5). Keep everyone happy with minimal effort: No more feeling like your household’s short-order cook, or tossing that finicky eaters’ food into the trash. A PCA fridge is already stocked with something for everyone, and the forum is full of helpful hints and support in how to adapt any recipe and/or menu to please everyone in your household.

Memberships - get two months free when you purchase yearly

Enjoy a selection of meals to choose from that never go to waste, even when your plans change

Finding a way to reduce this staggering waste is key to stamping out hunger once and for all (not to mention getting your own food budget under control). The money you’ll save shopping and eating more efficiently pays for the membership while affording you luxury of time to enjoy it. Help put an end to this epidemic of waste. What tips do you have for cutting back on wasting food?

If you are interested in learning more about how the PCA works, please watch this video.

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  • September 23, 2013
    11:48 am

    Prior to PCA, our family would buy fresh veggies – out of guilt or habit – without a plan to use them or to incorporate them into our dishes. I’ve thrown out a lot of produce over the years, but all that is changed now! I also love that I’m not running to the store for some little forgotten item a few nights a week.