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Sharp Knives Can Save Canada From Food Waste

Food waste is one of the most frustrating problems to tackle in Canada. It’s estimated that Canadian families waste around $31 a week ($1600 a year) in groceries. About 50% of this waste is fruits and vegetables. We’ve known that a sharp knife is a safe knife, but now studies have shown that a dull knife might be creating food waste, costing you money, and affecting your health as well.  Recently, House of Knives President, Mr. Andre Eng, was on Global BC Noon Hour News with Samantha Falk, to discuss how we can use sharp tools to battle this problem. Hit the play button above to view it.

A Sharp Knife Keeps Produce Fresher

When you cut food with a sharp knife, it doesn’t damage the cell structure of fruits and vegetables like a dull knife does. A dull knife crushes food, while a sharp knife cuts. It’s just like when you use a straight-edge to cut a steak. A sharp, straight-edge steak knife doesn’t leave as much juice behind. That’s because you haven’t torn up the meat like you would have if you’d used a serrated knife. When you’re cutting fruits and vegetables with a dull knife, you’re actually tearing through those cell walls, rather than slicing them cleanly. This promotes more bacteria growth, lost flavour, and lost electrolytes, which means produce will soften quicker.

F0r example, in the video, we cut up apples and potatoes with both dull and sharp knives. The produce cut with a dull knife oxidizes (browns) fairly rapidly. What about vegetable peelers? Dull peelers can have the same effect. And when given the choice between a serrated knife and a straight-edged knife to cut fruits and veggies, the choice is very clear as well. Not to mention, with a sharp knife you can remove blemishes from produce and use these pieces in recipes like pies, sauces, and chilli.

Maintain Your Tools

A sharp knife must be maintained for maximum cutting efficiency. The quickest way to do that is by properly honing your knife before each use. The video above takes you through good honing technique that we’ve taught to many people, helping them increase the longevity of their edges.

When you’re no longer able to hone your edge and still get proper cutting performance, then it’s time to sharpen your knife. House of Knives sells a range of different sharpening tools, from whetstones, to manual sharpeners, to belt sharpeners. All of them give you varying levels of sharpness and longevity, and our staff would be happy to walk you through that and find the best option for you. Want a no-fuss solution? Our staff can professionally sharpen your knives for you. Our switch to a new belt sharpening system for our sharpening services will ensure that you get a great quality edge and more time between sharpenings.

Plan Ahead

Now that you have the right tools and they’re well-maintained, you’ll want to think about how many people you’ll be cooking for this week. By buying exactly what you need, so you can create a meal plan, you’ll have far less waste. Prepping or packing lunches a couple days ahead of time can be a huge time saver. And with sharp tools, your lunches will also stay fresher and tastier too.

Do you have any tips and tricks for preventing food waste? Let us know in the comments below!

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