6 Tips on How to Reduce Food Waste in Your Kitchen

6 Tips on How to Reduce Food Waste in Your Kitchen

April is not only a beautiful month dedicated to spring, but it’s also a great time to center your efforts around planetary health. Since it’s Earth month, you can double down on your efforts to improve the health of our planet by making small adjustments in your life. Whether it’s composting, eating leftovers, or freezing foods, you can make changes by what you put on your fork. Learn how you can help the world around you with these tips on how to reduce food waste in the kitchen!

The Earth has granted us with so many beautiful sights to see and air to breathe! However, it’s easy to take it all for granted. Since it’s Earth month, this is the perfect time to reflect on ways that you can give back to the world that has provided everything you need to survive. This time of reflection may lead to thoughts of how to focus on reducing your carbon footprint, eating less animal-based products, recycling canned items, or engaging in sustainable practices. There are countless ways that you can contribute to creating a healthy, sustainable planet. Although the world is a HUGE place, the small changes that you can make in your daily life to improve our planet’s health can truly go a long way, especially if we all work together to achieve the same goal—protect our Earth. You might be thinking “How can I (one person) make a difference in something so surmountable?” Well, it’s a lot simpler than you think, and you can start with what you put on your fork.

Whether you’re interested in meal prepping or reducing kitchen time, there are numerous recipes that are both nutritious and environmentally friendly. Canned tomatoes are one of the most versatile canned products that should be a staple in your pantry. The long-shelf life of canned tomatoes helps to reduce food waste and improve the health of our earth. The accessibility and affordability of canned tomatoes make them a hot commodity, especially if you’re looking for ways to improve the quality of your meals. Canned tomatoes can be used in recipes that require little to no prep and cook time, which makes it quick and easy to whip up a delicious, nutrient-rich meal that everyone will enjoy. Check out these tomato-based recipes for some inspiration on how to start incorporating canned tomatoes into your dishes.

In addition to choosing sustainable foods (such as canned tomatoes), you can also do your part by reducing food waste. Wondering how you can achieve this? Check out these 6 tips on how to reduce food waste in your kitchen:

  1. Make a Grocery List. Keep a sticky note or white board in your kitchen so you can easily jot down foods you need for your next grocery run. This allows you to avoid buying unnecessary items that are already in your kitchen and purchase items that you need for the week.
  2. Freeze Foods. You should freeze your groceries 2-3 days before you know they will go bad to ensure maximum freshness. For instance, if you have kale in your refrigerator and know that you might not eat it over the next week, don’t be afraid to freeze it! Frozen kale can be used in a ton of recipes, such as smoothies, soups, and pastas, and it tastes delicious.
  3. Save Leftovers. If you cook at-home meals that you don’t finish, you can always save it for leftovers the next day! This will save you time and money since you will already have food readily available for your upcoming meal. If you’re going out to a restaurant with friends or family and don’t eat all the food on your plate, you can ask for a to-go box and take it home with you.
  4. Prepare Your Meals. When you have meals already prepared, you tend to limit grocery shopping, eating fast food, and wasting food. Preparing meals ahead of time allows you to choose exactly what you want to eat for the week, which also means you can eat more plant-based foods (which is great for the environment). Plus, you save time AND money!
  5. Purchase Canned Products. Purchasing canned, nonperishable items (like beans, fruits, vegetables, and tomato products) is one of the best ways to engage in practices of sustainable eating. Using canned foods reduces greenhouse gas emissions, requires less resources to produce, decreases food waste, and is 100% recyclable.
  6. Create Compost. When preparing meals, you probably throw away strawberry leaves or broccoli stems in the trash. But did you know that scraps of fresh produce (that are generally thrown in the trash) can be used for composting instead? This compost is a natural, authentic way to fertilize plants and is packed with more nutrients than synthetic fertilizers. The organic elements in compost are providing the soil with the most nutrient-rich foods, all while utilizing the scraps of other foods.

To discover additional recipes and articles discussing the benefits of canned tomatoes, be sure to check out some of our favorite Registered Dietitians Sharon Palmer, Liz Weiss, and Toby Amidor. Not only do they all discuss how canned tomatoes can reduce food waste and improve the health of our environment, but they also share their favorite tomato-based recipes. In addition to these amazing resources, you can also get more information from Today’s Dietitian, RD Lounge, and the Vegetarian Resource Group regarding health benefits of canned tomatoes.

By practicing sustainable methods in your home this month (and throughout the year), you have the power to impact your community and help restore our planet’s health. So, what are you waiting for? Encourage your friends and family to take part of Earth Day with some actionable methods! Learn more about how you can help here.

Green Up for Earth Month!

Green Up for Earth Month!

Earth Month is a great time to reflect on your choices and better your habits to improve the environment. Learn how you can help the planet with your fork!

Happy Earth Month! If you weren’t aware, April is the month where we raise awareness for sustainability, food waste, and taking care of our planet. While this should be something we do year-round, this month is a great time to reflect on your choices and better your habits to improve the planet’s health. Whether you have been focused on your carbon footprint for awhile now, or if you’re looking to begin your sustainability journey, this is the perfect time for everyone to put some extra love towards our planet. You can do this by learning how to lessen food waste, and while this may seem like an overwhelming task at first, it’s actually quite simple. You can start by eating with your fork! When you choose foods that are sustainable and eco-friendly, you better the environment with each bite you take. It doesn’t get much better than that!

When looking for sustainable foods, turn to canned, nonperishable items (such as canned beans, fruits, and vegetables) for an affordable, earth-friendly option. That’s why we love canned tomatoes! Not only are they versatile and delicious, but they are also an incredible sustainable food, as they don’t need as much energy as fresh tomatoes to refrigerate and transport. Since fresh tomatoes are generally grown in Mexico (which requires longer transportation distances) or in heated, energy-intensive greenhouses, they are not as sustainable-friendly as their canned counterparts. On the other hand, canned tomatoes are generally stored in steel cans when they reach their seasonal peak, which means that these cans are 100% recyclable, and the tomatoes stay nutritious! That’s a win all around! In addition to their sustainability factor, canned tomatoes also have a long shelf life, which makes them the perfect pantry item to have on hand. Whether you’re looking for a sweet or savory dish for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, canned tomatoes are a staple to have in the kitchen. This allows you to save time and money on those busy weeknights when you need to prepare a meal for the whole family, and there are countless flavorful and nutrient-rich recipes to choose from!

Considering food waste is also vital when it comes to improving environmental health. According to Feeding America, approximately $218 billion worth of food in the USA is thrown away each year! So, what can you do to offset this number? When it comes to purchasing foods, you should think a bit more about how you can utilize what you buy (i.e. create leftovers or meal prep) and what types of food are going to provide better use in the kitchen. Feeding America states that canned foods are much less likely to be wasted, as the canning process requires less resources, time, and money, which means less energy and water is used to make the product ready for purchase. What you choose to eat each day plays a part in food waste, and by making small changes in your daily life (like using canned foods instead of fresh foods), you can make a difference.

By practicing sustainable methods in your home this month (and throughout the year), you have the power to impact your community and help restore our planet’s health. So, what are you waiting for? Encourage your friends and family to take part of Earth Day with some actionable methods! Learn more about how you can help here.

Improve Sleep Quality with Tomatoes

Improve Sleep Quality with Tomatoes

Can you really improve sleep quality with tomatoes? New research is emerging that shows you can get better shut-eye by consuming tomatoes! Read on for how you can improve your sleep habits.

Busy lifestyles, lengthy to-do lists, and hectic work schedules can really put a damper on your sleep habits. Feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and stressed may contribute to sleep deprivation, which can result in negative impacts towards overall mental, emotional, and physical health. So, what can you do to improve your sleep quality?

Researchers feel that consuming certain tomato products may contribute to better sleep! This study from The Clinical Nutrition Journal showed that tomatoes can accelerate urinary aMT6s levels in obese postmenopausal women and improve the quality of their sleep. The method of this study included the observation of how beefsteak tomato, black tomato, and commercial tomato juices relate to the impacts that melatonin has on the human body. The results of the study showed that the beefsteak tomato had the highest amount of melatonin, which made it the most effective in regards to sleep quality. This randomized controlled dietary intervention trial took place in the span of 8 weeks and consisted of 36 participants. Within this group of individuals, some were placed into the “tomato group” while others were not. For 8 weeks, the tomato group consumed 250 grams of beefsteak tomatoes approximately 2 hours before they went to sleep. After the 8 weeks were completed, urine and blood samples were collected in order to determine the outcome of the study through valid and accurate data. The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) of the tomato group who consumed the beefsteak tomatoes prior to sleep improved their aMT6s level and sleep quality. In comparison to the control group, the tomato group was significantly higher in these levels, suggesting that the ingestion of tomato can provide natural melatonin to the body for obese postmenopausal women seeking better quality of sleep.

So, why not consume more tomato products this week before bedtime? A couple of hours before you turn in for the night, eat a delicious meal full of tomato products; this will give melatonin time to circulate throughout your body and improve your sleep quality. You may be surprised at the results!

For other tomato news, check out:

Top 11 Reasons to Go Red with Tomato Products
Can Tomatoes Help Your Kid Eat More Veggies?
What is Lycopene?
Health Connection Between Tomatoes and Lycopene

Pan Seared Pork Chops with Bourbon Peach Compote

Pan Seared Pork Chops with Bourbon Peach Compote

For a delicious and nutritious experience, try out this simple recipe for Pan Seared Pork Chops with Bourbon Peach Compote. We love that this recipe features sweet peaches, tangy tomatoes, and savory pork chops, because they all come together perfectly to create a delectable main dish. Whether you’re looking for a meal to impress a first date or a tasty dinner for your family, this recipe is sure to impress everyone around the table.

When it comes to nutrition, this recipe is teeming with health benefits! Pork is the main protein source here, and this lean meat is a good source of thiamin, selenium, niacin, vitamin B-6, zinc, riboflavin and potassium. Canned Tri-Color Tomatoes take on a starring role in this dish, providing both nutrition and flavor. When it comes to canned tomatoes, lycopene is certainly the star of the show, as it has been shown to help lower the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer and macular degeneration. So, what are you waiting for? Head into the kitchen and try this recipe out for yourself!

Get the full recipe for Pan Seared Pork Chops with Bourbon Peach Compote by visiting our friends at Pacific Coast Producers.

For other delicious recipes, check out some of our favorites:

Chipotle Tomato Rice POWER Bowl
Swiss Chard Pecan Lasagna
Black Bean Corn Chili

Health Connection Between Tomatoes and Lycopene

Health Connection Between Tomatoes and Lycopene

What’s the health connection between tomatoes and lycopene? Researchers performed a review of 174 articles to determine the health outcomes associated with tomato and lycopene. In May 2020, this study provided evidence which supports the claim that consumption of tomatoes and lycopene are linked to numerous health benefits. Tomato intake has similar health effects to lycopene intake, as they are both inversely associated with mortality, prostate cancer, lung cancer, and heart diseases. There are a few variations between tomato and dietary lycopene intake: tomato products are inversely associated with cerebrovascular disease mortality and gastric cancer, while lycopene is inversely associated with stroke and male infertility.

Fresh tomatoes are not the only tomato products that are nutrient-rich and contain lycopene. In fact, canned tomatoes, marinara sauce, salsa, and even tomato soup have a slightly higher amount of lycopene in them due to the cooking and canning process they undergo. Similar to most nutrients, it’s more natural to obtain lycopene from foods rather than supplements. In order to achieve maximum health benefits associated with lycopene, it is recommended to consume tomato products with a heart healthy fat, such as olive oil or avocado. That’s why we recommend enjoying lycopene and its health benefits through delicious foods such as lasagna, curries, and bolognese. So, what are you waiting for? Enjoy some canned tomato products today!

For other tomato news, check out:

Top 11 Reasons to Go Red with Tomato Products
Can Tomatoes Help Your Kid Eat More Veggies?
What is Lycopene?