We recently shared some thoughts about International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste Reduction (29 September) and why reducing wasted food is important for people and the planet. So, we thought it would be a good idea to share some tips on how to help reduce food wastage around the home. I’ve scoured the internet (well, page 1 of Google…) and have collated some of the useful practical tips to help you save money and live a more sustainable and environmentally friendly life!
- Don’t buy more food than you need, and keep track of what’s in your fridge so you don’t needlessly let food go off or double buy, saving you money and waste.
- Understand the difference between “best before” and “use-by” dates. Generally food is safe to eat after the “best before” date past. The “use-by” date tells you when it is no longer safe to consume. Most food packaging also has some small print to say “eat within 24 hours of opening” or similar. If stored correctly, this information is generally safe to ignore, such as with milk or soups. If in doubt, give it a sniff!
- If you don’t do it already, try making weekly meal plans. This helps you to avoid over buying or buying foods or ingredients you may not get around to eating before it goes off. Learning how to be creative with leftovers can make a huge difference towards reducing food waste and money.
- Check your fridge temperature. It should be between 0-5°C. Some foods, especially dairy products, will go off much quicker if it’s warmer.
- Love your freezer. Use your weekends to batch-cook and freeze meal portions ahead of time. And learn what foods you can safely freeze for later. Bread is a good example, popping a loaf in the freezer will ensure it stays fresh almost indefinitely.
- Don’t let your fruit and veggies go to waste, mature fruit that might not taste the best in its raw format is perfect for smoothies, juices and desserts.
- Learn stock rotation and move older food products to the front of your fridge or cupboard and put the new items to the back. Another great tip is to make use of airtight food safe containers to keep food and your leftovers fresh in the fridge
- Compost your unusable food waste if possible. This reduces your carbon footprint by giving nutrients back to the earth!
- Try to support your local food producers by buying local. This benefits your community and helps to reduce your carbon footprint by not relying on produces that has been transported by truck or van for large
- There are some excellent new apps that are designed to help businesses giveaway surplus food for very little money or even for free. Check out the likes of Too Good to Go, Olio, or Karma
Each year, globally, £1 trillion worth of food is wasted, and the food wasted in Europe alone could feed one billion of the planet's starving individuals. We can't let this continue.
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