Waste-Free Kitchen Handbook by Dana Gunders

Waste-Free Kitchen Handbook

Despite a growing awareness of food waste, many well-intentioned home cooks lack the tools to change their habits. This handbook—packed with engaging checklists, simple recipes, practical strategies, and educational infographics—is the ultimate tool for reducing food waste. From a scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council come these everyday techniques that call for minimal adjustments of habit, from shopping, portioning, and using a...

Details Waste-Free Kitchen Handbook

TitleWaste-Free Kitchen Handbook
Release DateSep 29th, 2015
PublisherChronicle Books
GenreNonfiction, Food and Drink, Food, Cookbooks, Cooking, Reference

Reviews Waste-Free Kitchen Handbook

  • Kelli
    A beginner’s guide to reducing food waste that includes generic information on meal planning, sticking to a shopping list, freezing food, composting, and food storage tips, among others. I’m not looking to use food before composting it (polishing shoes with banana peels) nor do I subscribe to feeding my dog table scraps to reduce waste (?!). By definition, this is not a riveting topic, but there is probably something to be learned for everyon...
  • Allie
    I heard about this book on NPR (link), and it is totally amazing. Combined with the 99% invisible episode about best by dates (link) and the movie at last year's film festival about food waste (Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story), I've been spending a lot of time thinking about food waste (and waste in general). This handbook is a great starting place to help you store food better to minimize waste, what to do to revitalize something gone a bit bad,...
  • Alexis
    An excellent, practical guide about reducing food waste. I'm now on a mission to learn more about food waste. It's the next stage in my journey to learn about food.This book is organized into little sections and has lots of tips and tricks about how to cut down on food waste in your kitchen.(North Americans waste about 1/4 of the food they purchase. That's a huge waste of both money and food!!)
  • Katie
    I'm giving this five stars, but not for me. For you. For everyone who doesn't know about the food waste problem, or for those that know about it but don't know what to do. For the people who throw out hundreds of dollars of food every year, some that much in a month! I'm a overly eager non food waster. I compost, but it takes me so long to fill my compost inside that it starts to rot, because I use so much of my scraps. In fact,, my 1 gallon comp...
  • Beth
    Very little useful information in this book. I did learn why there is a crisper adjustment on the produce drawer in my refrigerator and that no one else understands what the expiration date on foods means. (Apparently only infant formula is federally regulated in this way - the other dates are a mish-mosh of state regulations and whatever the manufacturer wants to put there). The rest of the book is guilt trips about the Fate of the Earth and tru...
  • Ktmholm
    A very useful book to have on hand. Some parts were already known to me, such as planning menus to use up leftovers and avoid wasting food. Others were new, such as which vegetables and fruits do better in high- or low-humidity produce drawers, and the fact that some refrigerators allow you to adjust the settings of each drawer. Other useful material includes which food scraps are safe (or unsafe) to feed your pets; the difference between "sell b...
  • Penny Ramirez
    This was a good collection of information - none of it was new to me, but it was nice to have it all in one place.I struggle with food wastage, having been raised by Depression-era women. I hate to see how much I and my family throw away, and to read the stats on how much we waste as a nation is appalling. However, the methods outlined in this book will be difficult to enact, particularly for the fussy eaters in my family.Perhaps if it were frame...
  • Sherry Monger
    I think we are all looking for ways to be more efficient and less wasteful, and this book gives many ideas on how to achieve this. The author talks about planning better before grocery shopping since many of us end up having to clean out and throw away fresh items that did not get used in time. She also talks about "best before" dates and how to store items so that they have a greater shelf life. At the end are recipes designed to utilize such th...
  • Corey
    Did you know that sour milk is safe to use? Or that potatoes that have gone a little soft are fine, but once they've started sprouting shoots, they are toxic? Or the right way to stock your fridge so as to maximize the freshness of the food contained therein? I did not, until I read Waste Free Kitchen Handbook: A Guide to Eating Well and Saving Money by Wasting Less Food. At the time this book was published (2015), 40% of the food that was produc...
  • Lauren Salvato
    I thought the book had great information and visuals. I don't think I'm the right audience - I already compost and am very conscious about my food consumption. I hope it reaches those that could change their habits and make a larger lifestyle change.
  • Karen
    I really liked the way this book asks you to look at how you are using food, storing food, and eating food and see how you can do it better. I've already rearranged the fridge and now have the book in the pantry so it is easy to reference when I need to check the best way to store something.
  • Fullfaun
    Diagrams on What should go on which shelf of the fridge, Recipes, how to can and preserve food. Freshness dates, etc.
  • Little
    There are a couple of big take-aways from this book. One is that the biggest way to avoid throwing food in the trash is to only buy the food you're going to eat. Gunders recommends a ruthless audit, making note of every piece of food pitched in the trash for two weeks, with explicit reasons why those food items got pitched. Not "it was too old," but "I didn't feel like eating it the night I was supposed to cook it." And based on the results of sa...
  • Skunk
    I think that this book is more between a 3-4 star. I agree with some of the information that was in the book and some it was super helpful. One part that I didn't agree with was where it it said to cook less from scratch. I disagree, but the book was enjoyable as a whole.
  • Brittany Petruzzi
    Excellent. Truly helpful.
  • Judi Serrato
    I read about half of this book and realized that very little of this information is new to me. However, it still contains good and useful info and if this topic is new to you I would recommend it.
  • Tamara
    Super handy tips for how best to buy, store, preserve and prepare food to avoid spoilage and waste.
  • NK92
    I first saw this at the library, read some, and decided to buy it.I love this book, as well as "My Zero Waste Kitchen" but after reading both I was a little confused, as they had some information in one that was contradictory to the other book. For composting, each book had different ratios (green to brown) & recommendations. I was left uncertain and "winging it." I will need to buy a book on composting to compensate. I will say though that altho...
  • Elizabeth
    Kinda hard to rate this one because I didn't exactly read this for a riveting read. I guess I'll say it's more of a 2.5 star because there is some really good info in here. It's worth getting alone for the directory in the back that tells you how to store fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy products to get the most out of them (including tips on freezing which is really invaluable).Otherwise it's pretty standard information that I think most of us...
  • Violet Laflamme
    A lot of good info but this really read like a 101 in a lot of ways. I guess it is so I can't dock too many points for it. Recipes follow in the same vein, basically the same ideas you'll find in anything about using up leftovers. Having said that, where this book earns some points back is the detailed guides it gives on how to store most common fruits and veggies, a guide on how to control portions at parties, and more than the standard one or t...
  • Liz VanDerwerken
    As if I haven’t evangelized this book enough... this is a practical and useful guide to home cooking with more efficiency and precision to best utilize your monetary and food resources to best effect. I’ve noticed some small but significant shifts in my habits with food shopping and preparing since reading this book and implementing its ideas. It was an approachable resource and I enjoyed reading it cover-to-cover, but it is also organized su...
  • Rachel B
    A great, thorough book for beginners - people who realize they're throwing away a lot of the food they buy and want to change, but don't know where to begin.Gunders covers accurate meal planning, how to use leftovers, non-food uses for foods, how to keep foods fresh for longer, and more. There are 20 recipes here, most of them fairly basic in the use-it-up world, like soup, but a few looked good. (Also, the book isn't primarily a cookbook, so I'm...
  • Barb
    Very informative book about trying to be more aware of your own food waste. I got it from the library, right after cleaning out my refrigerator and threw out way too much food. This book is helpful for people new to this idea and for those who want to go hard core. I liked the recipes at the end. The best I do to reduce waste is when we move and I am very conscious of the food I need to get rid of and not waste...I don't plan on moving any time s...
  • Krista D.
    This was a really solid beginner book, as well as a decent reminder and brush up (especially for reminding you which produce goes into which crisper, and which fruit gets stored in paper vs plastic). It covers a lot of topics in a basic way - how to freeze, what to freeze, canning, a handful of recipes, how to meal plan (incl lazy days).I found the main text font difficult to read (I borrowed a print copy from the library), but the diagrams were ...
  • Merrill Medansky
    Easy to read, easy to follow.If you've ever felt guilty about throwing away that lettuce or the rest of the lunch meat, this book is for you. It will guide you to behavior changes that will minimize your waste and coach you on plant-friendly ways to dispose of food past its prime. I think I may actually buy this one.
  • Debbie Leeding
    I knew a lot of the information given at the start of this book but learnt from her advice about how to store fresh produce.The most informative part of the book was about how arbitrary best before dates were! She advises readers to use their common sense and their physical senses to assess the quality of the food they are thinking of consuming. Perfect
  • Mercer County Library System
    A great kitchen resource for those learning or brushing up on how to buy, store and eat food properly with as little waste as possible. The book contains information about various ingredients from the main food groups: vegetables, fruit, meat, dairy, etc. and how to make the best use of them. There's even recipes for using up scraps! (Reviewed by Julia, Lawrence branch)
  • Angie
    Library book that’s going on my Amazon wish list. There was a lot I already knew, thanks to a mom who studied home ec at Purdue, but there were also many things I did not know or had forgotten. This book is worth a read if only for the section on food storage alone, although the whole book is full of useful information. Especially if you didn’t grow up with a Foods major.
  • Ivanna
    Excellent reference to have on hand. Includes a directory that helps you know how to store fruits and veggies and how long they're typically good for. Also includes some good recipes to help you use up stuff that's about to go bad. I renewed it from the library 4 times because I just didn't want to give it back.
  • Amy
    Handy book. It describes how to keep foods fresh in the kitchen... How long to keep meat... When and when not to toss food. In the back it describes where to store certain foods, where not to, can it be frozen etc. I wish the back resource section was longer with more foods.