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Cutting food waste

February 7, 2022 | General  

Every time we throw food away, we are also throwing away money. Not to mention contributing to the climate crisis. When we waste food, we are wasting the water and energy that has gone into growing the food, the transportation of the food, the packaging and associated “shelf costs”. When food waste decomposes it produces methane which is a greenhouse gas more harmful to our environment than carbon monoxide.
Whether you want to help save the planet or your wallet, in this article we share some ideas on how to cut food waste

Plan Meals

Try using a weekly meal plan to decide what meals you and your family will eat, it might sound like a tedious job but once you set up a plan and fill it in on a weekly basis, it’s quick to do and a definite money saving exercise. It will also help you to eat more healthily. Try to plan meals that use perishable goods at the beginning of your week to ensure the food is used before it is out of date.
Cross referencing meals to see exactly where ingredients can be bought in larger portions to save money and only buying exactly what is needed for the meals planned will reduce waste. Try to avoid impulse buying, stick to the list and you should have little waste!

 Portion Control

If there is usually food left on plates at the end of family meals it might be that the portions are too big. Try gradually reducing portion sizes until there is very little, or no waste left at the end of meals.

Batch Cooking your food

This will save you time as well as help stop food waste. When cooking meals like chilli, make 2x sittings worth and freeze a batch for another day. If you do this a couple of times each week, when you come home after a tiring day at work and you can’t muster up the energy or enthusiasm to cook, you will have a selection of meals ready and waiting, rather than ignoring any fresh food and buying a takeaway instead.

Use-By Dates on food

When buying food in the supermarket, check that the dates you buy have a decent life left on the “Use By” or “Best Before” dates. Supermarkets will always put the longest dated food to the back so reach right to the back of the chiller cabinet and only buy food that has a longer life. Buying food with short dates increases the likelihood of food spoiling and being consigned to the bin.

Freeze Extra Fruit and Veg

When prepping meals, don’t put half a cabbage, swede etc back in the fridge. You have removed the outer leaves or skin leaving the veg vulnerable to decay. Prep the entire lot set aside what you are going to need for your meal and freeze the rest. Freezing will retain most of the vitamins and iron

Leftover Food

About to throw out leftovers. Stop! Here are some creative ways to use those leftovers and stop wasting food:
  • Leftover cooked vegetables can be whizzed up with a can of chopped tomatoes to make a delicious sauce for pasta.
  • Cooked rice, meat and vegetables can be made into burritos – simply add salsa and sour cream
  • Leftover vegetables, however, they’ve been cooked, can make a delicious and healthy soup – just add stock and seasoning.
  • Cooked pasta can make a cold pasta salad the next day. Add pesto and leftover cooked meat or raw veggies for a nice crunchy salad, along with any fresh herbs and a handful of pine nuts.
  • Bread about to go stale makes perfect breadcrumbs for the freezer, ready to add bulk to meatballs, burgers and stuffing or coating for homemade chicken goujons. Or why not make a yummy bread and butter pudding. Stale bread is perfect for this popular desert. For a twist try adding white chocolate and raspberries instead of dried fruit and serve with cream – yummy!

Be Neighbourly

Cooked too much, but can’t freeze it? Don’t throw it away, why not pop it in a dish and run it round to a neighbour. You will probably make their day.
There are lots of different ways to cut food waste, we hope our tips have helped to inspire you
BBC goodfood
bbc good food also have a very helpful article in how to fight food waste, give their article a read too

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