Food waste is a massive issue! We are throwing away 7.2 million tonnes of food every year. This is utter madness when we consider the amount of homeless on our streets and starving people around the world. It’s not only thoughtless but also harmful to our planet. If we all do our part we can stop this wasteful revolution. I’ve put together some tips I have tried to put into place in our home that have brought us some way to reducing how much food we are wasting.
By this I mean, have a list. Meal plan, but only what you need to make those meals. This saves over buying, and over chucking! It also saves the stress of having nothing left to make meals with and saves time (and money!) in the kitchen.
Serving is something that I hadn’t taken into account. It is worth doing some research into portion sizes, as I know myself and my family over eat when it comes to the normal portion size. Over-serving food can lead to eating too much but also leftovers being chucked in the bin when they could’ve made a further meal
Remember not to let your eyes be bigger than your belly!
Seal up any left overs in handy pouches, bags or reusable containers ideally. Pop them in the fridge to be eaten the next day for lunch or tea, make them into work lunch boxes, or even freeze them for up to a few months. Most foods can be frozen and reheated but be sure to check first.
If you can, get a composter in the garden, you can even get mini indoor ones now too! Chuck all your fruit and vegetable compostable waste in there and use it in the garden (or bag it up for a friend or family member), easy solution to create less fresh food waste!
If all else fails and you have non-decompostible food in your fridge or freezer or cupboard that you simply don’t want or overbought please give this to a local food bank. Food banks are always in need of canned and dried foods to feed those in need. Most supermarkets have a store for local food banks now making it super easy to donate!
Use by dates
Don’t ignore use by dates by any means but use these with pinch of salt. As a vegan to be honest I don’t pay much attention. Thinks like dairy and meat are irrelevant to me (the kinds of foods you can do some form of damage if you eat them past these dates). Fruits and vegetables are gone off when they are mouldy, and you can normally tell very easily when that is by sight and smell. I have bought many a times “RIPE” fruit from a supermarket or stall, and it has sat on my worktop for up to two weeks “ripening”. Fruits should be soft and sweet, vegetables should be bright and vibrant, they very often last far beyond the recommended sell by date.
Some foods especially fruit create ethylene gas. This makes fruit ripen quicker than normal. Separating these fruits from your others will make sure all your fruit doesn’t ripen too quickly. Some of the more common ethylene creating fruits are;
Let me know if you already or are willing to give some of these tips a go! Let’s try and reduce this waste crisis.