In a time where reducing our foot-print is the biggest and most pertinent global concern, reducing food waste is one of the simplest actions we can take. In Australia, food waste is estimated to cost the economy around $20 billion each year. And we, the Australian consumers, throw away around 3.1 million tonnes of edible food a year - and it is the leading contributor of methane in the atmosphere. While it makes you wonder how much food you single-handedly throw away each year, the next question is how do we reduce this amount. Below are our top 10 tips to reduce your food waste. BUY LESS FOOD
It might seem obvious, but the less food we buy, the less we waste. Scary fact: almost 50% of the salad we buy goes straight into the bin, followed by 25% of our fruit and veg and 20% of the bread and bakery items we buy. Buy less, waste less.
A good way to reduce food waste is simply to notice how much of the food waste you put in your bin is avoidable.
Make a food list before you go shopping and stick to it. And if you love lists as much as we do, try making a meal plan for the week. Yes, it’s a bit nerdy, but it works. More planning, less food waste.
EAT BEFORE YOU SHOP
We’ve all gone shopping when we’ve been hungry and we’ve seen the results – a shopping trolley full to the brim and much more food than we can eat while it's still fresh. It is cheaper at the checkout too!
KNOW YOUR DATES
Bring older foods to the front of the fridge and push newer food to the back. If you buy marked-down bargains at the supermarket, use them that day or freeze immediately. If you really want to reduce food waste, make the freezer your new best friend. You can freeze almost anything including herbs, breads and almost all leftovers.
LEARN THE LINGO
‘Best before’ doesn’t mean the same thing as ‘use by’. Lots of foods are still good to eat even after their best before date. Use your senses, and common sense!
STORE YOUR FOOD PROPERLY
Store your potatoes and other root vegetables in a cool dark place and they’ll last much longer. A clay pot is perfect and pretty as another option. Make sure your vegetables are in the crisper, leafy greens have some paper towel added to their container, and herbs are in their favourite spots (basil on the bench, parsley in the fridge).
Check your fruit and vegetables daily to isolate any rotten bits that could spoil the rest of your fresh foods.
COOK WHAT YOU NEED
Know the portion sizes that are right for you and your family, and only cook what you’ll eat. Pasta and rice measures are great tools to avoid needless waste.
LOVE YOUR LEFTOVERS
There are lots of great recipe ideas online for using up yesterday’s food. They’re so good, you’ll never feel like you’re eating leftovers! Try lovefoodhatewaste.com/recipes for some ideas. With love and less waste, Rose x