Tips to limit food waste when camping

We love the camping season and roasting marshmallows on the fire! For a trip without food waste and, most importantly, without risk to your health (it’s -never the right time for food poisoning!), follow a few simple tips to keep your food safe.

  1. Use a quality airtight cooler

And that's the basis: a cooler that retains cold well and closes tightly. Ideally, a thermometer should be used to ensure that the internal temperature remains below 4°C.

  1. Choosing your ice

Opt for ice cubes rather than crushed ice, as they will last longer. Another option: a four-litre supply of frozen water! For one thing, it prevents a puddle forming at the bottom of the cooler and as a bonus, you can drink the water when it thaws.

  1. Take just the right amount of food with you

To avoid waste, do not take an entire package of food with you if you do not plan to eat it all. After all, what would you do with four remaining sausages or half an eggplant? It’s therefore best to estimate the quantities that will be consumed and stick to them.

  1. Opt for airtight containers

A steak wrapped in plastic and floating in the water at the bottom of the cooler will contaminate ALL the other food in no time. That’s why airtight dishes or bags are recommended for food storage.

  1. Freeze the meat before leaving

To keep the cold in the cooler longer and keep your meat as fresh as possible, it’s best to pack it  when it is still frozen. This reduces your risk of meat contamination!

  1. Opt for non-perishable food

The fewer perishable foods you have, the less likely you are to waste. Food that can stay at room temperature, such as canned tuna, individual soy beverages, canned spaghetti sauce, dry pancake mix, etc., are therefore preferred. You can even prepare a balanced and complete meal out of these, such as this trekker's couscous recipe.

  1. Choosing the right spot for your cooler

During the day, avoid placing it in the sun, so it does not get warm. At night, if possible, store it in the car or under a bench. You  don't want to encourage wild animals from coming to enjoy your food!

 Happy camping!

Receipe:  Couscous (no fridge required) with apricots and salmon

When camping, your trip will be a lot more pleasant if you can avoid the cooler nightmare! Here is a nutritious and balanced couscous recipe, using only ingredients that can be stored at room temperature.

Annie is a nutritionist, doctor of Pharmacy and the founder of ScienceFourchette.com. Energetic, creative and passionate, she has a unique way of increasing your knowledge of nutrition and of simplifying your diet (in a big way!!).

Preperation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

Rest time: 10 minutes

Number of portions: 4 to 6 portions

Ingredients:

Mix of dry ingredients

400 g (2 cups) couscous

35 g (1 cup) dried apricots, cut into strips

2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) cinnamon

2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) ground cumin

2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) ground coriander

2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) ground ginger

1 ml (1/4 tsp) ground cloves

 Ingredients to bring

500 ml (2 cups) water

2 cans of 156 g salmon, crab meat or shrimp

70 g (1/2 cup) whole almonds, coarsely chopped

30 ml (2 tbsp) olive oil or canola oil

Before the trek:

In a bowl, mix the couscous, apricots and spices well with a whisk or wooden spoon. Place in an airtight storage bag or dish. This mix of dry ingredients can be stored for 2 to 3 weeks at room temperature.

 Preparation:

In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Pour the dry ingredients into the pan. Cover and let it puff up for 5 minutes.

 Using a fork, break up the couscous granules. Add salmon, almonds and oil. Serve.

It can easily be made into a vegetarian dish by replacing salmon with a vegetable protein source such as a canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained.