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Limiting Food Waste Can Save You $1500 a Year

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If you’re like the average American, around 20 percent of what you buy in the grocery store ends up in the trash instead of on your plate. You may not feel the impact on your wallet when you’re clearing out your fridge at the end of the week, but every piece of food you throw away eventually adds up. The USDA reports that the average amount of food wasted by a family of four accounts for roughly 2 million calories or $1500 a year. So if you’re looking for a way to reduce your monthly grocery budget, being smarter about the food you're wasting is a great place to start.

Making the most of your food is a practice that requires serious planning, which is why so many households fail to do it. In her new book, Waste-Free Kitchen Handbook, Dana Gunders, a senior scientist at the National Resources Defense Council, gives 85 tips for how to reduce food waste. A few of her ideas include learning to store food properly, shopping for just a few meals at a time, and trusting your judgment over expiration dates.

Another way to minimize food waste at home is to follow the lead of professional chefs. Because restaurants are required to produce full menus on limited budgets, most of them have an arsenal of tricks for making the most of ingredients that are already in stock. Instead of tossing out leftover chicken bones, chef Troy Guard of the TAG Restaurant Group tells Time Money that he uses them to make soup. He also recommends incorporating scraps like carrot peels, leftover rice, and mushroom stems into a tasty veggie burger. So next time you visit the supermarket, remember that a conservative grocery list can go a long way. 

[h/t: Time Money

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Job Alert: The UK Needs a Chicken Nugget Taste-Tester

Do you like highly-processed chicken molded into mushy, breaded bites? Are you willing to relocate to England? Can your palate distinguish a savory nugget from a mediocre one? Your dream job awaits, AJC.com reports.

British retail chain B&M recently posted a job listing calling for a "chicken nugget connoisseur" to help the company get feedback on their new line of frozen food products. The chosen applicant—or applicants—will get a monthly voucher worth £25 ($34) to spend on frozen goods. Job duties consist of eating nuggets and other items and then providing B&M feedback.

The post describes the position as "temporary," so it's unlikely there's opportunity for advancement. If you care to apply, B&M will accept a paragraph describing yourself and why you’d be good for the job—though if you actually have a CV full of previous nugget-related positions, we're confident they'd love to see it.

[h/t AJC.com]

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Switzerland Just Made It Illegal to Boil Live Lobsters
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No, lobsters don’t scream when you toss them into a pot of boiling water, but as far as the Swiss government is concerned, they can still feel pain. The path most lobsters take to the dinner plate is supposedly so inhumane that Switzerland has banned boiling lobsters alive unless they are stunned first, The Guardian reports.

The new law is based on assertions from animal rights advocates and some scientists that crustaceans like lobsters have complex nervous systems, making death by boiling incredibly painful. If chefs want to include lobster on their menus, they’re now required to knock them out before preparing them. Acceptable stunning methods under Swiss law include electric shock and the “mechanical destruction” of the lobster’s brain (i.e. stabbing it in the head).

The government has also outlawed the transportation of live lobsters on ice or in icy water. The animals should instead be kept in containers that are as close to their natural environment as possible until they’re ready for the pot.

Proponents of animal rights are happy with the decision, but others, including some scientists, are skeptical. The data still isn’t clear as to whether or not lobsters feel pain, at least in the way people think of it. Bob Bayer, head of the University of Maine’s Lobster Institute, told Mental Floss in 2014 that lobsters “sense their environment, but don’t have the intellectual hardware to process pain.”

If you live in a place where boiling lobsters is legal, but still have ethical concerns over eating them, try tossing your lobster in the freezer before giving it a hot water bath. Chilling it puts it to sleep and is less messy than butchering it while it’s still alive.

[h/t The Guardian]

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