There’s something about throwing out food that really bothers me. It’s not just the waste of money that stings me as I throw soggy asparagus spears into the bin. It’s more about the guilt about buying the food in the first place and never using it. Think of all those starving children…my mum’s words come back to haunt me.
And to make matters worse, think about all the energy that's used to produce food, to store it, to transport it, to deliver it to our homes and then we throw it away! When we do throw it away, the food doesn’t just rot and disappear, it releases harmful methane gases in the process. Now that stinks!
But here’s some good news. As grocery sales surged at a record pace over the past three months as we were forced to eat at home during the lockdown, surprisingly enough food wastage went down. In the UK alone, there was a reported 34% reduction in waste of potatoes, bread, chicken, and milk. Now that’s very encouraging. We’re finally beginning to value the food that we have and make the best use of it because it's a valuable resource. With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you stop wasting food.
• Bring soft veggies like carrots and cucumber back to life by putting them in water and chilling them.
• Cut up uneaten chicken breasts into strips and freeze them to add to stir-fries
• Grate cheese and store it in the freezer to use in sauces or omelettes
• Apples, pears, apricots and plums that are past their best can be cooked up in puddings
• Use vegetables, fruit and bread that are nearly past their best to make chutney
• Many leftovers from previous meals can be cooked with fresh ingredients to create lunch
• If cooking a large meal, divide it into portions to be frozen for another day
• Keep ripe fruit in the fridge to make it last longer
• Store food in air-tight containers and re-sealable bags
• Measure food portions to avoid cooking too much and having to throw away uneaten food
• Eat food before its use-by date and freeze leftovers so you can reheat for lunch the next day
• Avoid cooking more food than you need so you won’t have to throw away any of it away
Wasted food costs families an average of 800€ each year. By just establishing a few good habits, we can all save money, look after the planet and feel good about what we’re eating for the future.
For more great tips, recipes and ways to avoid food wastage, go to WRAP's website, www.lovefoodhatewaste.com