Roughly 30% of the food produced in the world is wasted. This of course has a huge impact on the environment with precious resources being used to produce food that is never consumed. Most food waste in the UK comes from our homes so there is a lot we must do to reduce waste.
Meal planning. Plan your weeks meals in advance and shop accordingly. That way, you should only be using what you have bought.
Keep track of the food in your cupboards and fridge. Make sure you know what you have and think about bringing food which is closer to its use by date to the front to be eaten first.
Store food properly to prolong its life.
Learn how to preserve food. Fermenting, pickling and preserving food is a delicious way of extending the use by date on food. There may be a local class you can attend or check out some of the websites below for recipes.
Freeze food to avoid waste. A surprising variety of produce can be frozen and thus help with reducing food waste. Just make sure you rotate what you have in your freezer!
Eat your leftovers! Save money at the same time by eating your left-over dinner for lunch the next day. Or jazz up your leftovers into a completely new dish.
Compost your food waste. Throwing it in to landfill caused the release of methane into the atmosphere.
Avoid throwing out food by learning what can still be eaten even if its past its sell by date and how to eat it. E.g. Over ripe bananas can be frozen and then blended to make delicious ice cream. Food that is past its sell by date may very well still be edible. Check to see if it smells and looks ok. Food that it past its use by date should not be eaten as it could harbour bacteria which cannot be seen. Here is a super useful article from the Guardian.
Eat ugly food! Don’t always select the most perfect looking fruit and vegetables as the less perfect produce should taste the same but may get thrown out as nobody wants to buy it.
Use as much as you can of the food you buy. We throw away a lot of edible food as its seen as scraps. You can eat the skin of most vegetable- even kiwi fruits- add it all to a smoothie! If your carrots came with their tops, cook and eat these as well. Use other scraps to make a stock which can be frozen. Use your coffee grounds to make beauty products or as a slug deterrent for certain plants.
Grow your own. If you are fortunate enough to have a garden, there is joy to be had in producing your own fruit and vegetables. You are also less likely to waste it as you will know the hard work which has gone in to growing it. It will also last longer as its not been transported so get growing your own!
Use Food Saving apps. The number of apps you can use to ‘rescue’ food from restaurants, cafes, supermarkets and neighbours is growing constantly. Too Good To Go focuses on selling unsold stock at a greatly reduced price whilst Olio connects you to neighbours who has surplus food which they are happy to share rather than waste.