It seems that many of us are thinking more about our food and where it comes from. Growing, processing and transporting food requires vast resources. If food is wasted, these resources are wasted too.
This makes food waste one of the biggest contributors to global climate change. However, under Project Drawdown, scientists identified the 100 best actions we can take to fight this and reducing food waste is number 3.
Making small changes to planning, shopping and preparing our food can reduce waste. Reducing food waste should start at home before shopping, it also saves money.
There are some common themes: we buy and prepare too much, plans change, leftovers go off in the fridge, the list goes on. Many of us are oblivious to the amount of and which foods we discard on a regular basis. Use these tips and see your waste disappear!
- Planning meals is one of the most effective ways to reduce food waste and save money. Planning out what will realistically be eaten will help reduce waste. For many, budgeting is even more important now so writing up and sticking to the shopping list will help too.
- Many people confuse ‘best before’ with ‘use by’ dates. The ‘use by’ indicates food safety while ‘best before’ indicates quality. The A-Z of Foods is a useful resource outlining how to keep foods for longer and ways to use things up.
- Buying locally produced and seasonal foods is a great way to reduce our overall environmental impact. The seasonal foods calendar is a handy reference showing what’s likely to be available each month.
- Did you know that you can freeze chopped onions and cook them from frozen? You can also freeze grapes, eggs (freeze raw yolks and whites separately), hard cheese and cream. Why not make a double batch and freeze half for another day for meals such as lasagne or shepherd’s pie?
- Wrinkly fruit can be used to make smoothies/purées. Bendy veg can be roasted or blended to make warm, comforting Wilted leaves will perk right up if you soak them in cold water for 5 – 10 minutes. Freeze brown bananas and blitz them up to make a tasty healthy treat.
- Got fussy eaters? Get the kids involved in food preparation. They’re much more likely to eat something they have helped prepare themselves.
- Serve food from bowls at the centre of the table. We’re more inclined to save leftovers from a serving dish than from someone’s plate.
- No need to perfect recipes, throw in whatever you have and get creative!
- Enjoy leftovers the following day. A couple of eggs might transform last night’s veg into a handy omelette.
- If we understand what it takes to grow food, we value it more and are less likely to waste it. Give it a go. Growing can be as simple as some herbs on the windowsill.
- Compost all food peelings and scraps or put them in a brown bin. For more on home composting, check out this guide.
Find out more at www.stopfoodwaste.ie