How much food do you waste ? The New South Wales Government has states that as much as 800,000 tonnes of wasted food goes into landfill from NSW households each year. This food waste breaks down and causes methane – which plays havoc with the environment. read article
Avoiding food waste saves you time, reduces the environmental impact … and very importantly SAVES YOU MONEY !
Makes sense doesn’t it. I don’t want to get on my soap box here, but I recently came across these alarming figures and it made me stop and think about how much food I was actually throwing out.
How many times have I put leftovers into a container into the fridge only to wait until it becomes unrecognisable sludge and THEN throw it out after its little hiatus in the fridge!
For starters, these are the changes I’ve implemented since the New Year.
I planted a herb garden, which is now in full bloom. Besides the job of harvesting the most amazingly fresh herbs whenever I need them, I’m so pleased I’m no longer throwing out decaying bunches of herbs from the bottom of my vegetable crisper each week.
I’m now being more conscious of planning our meals. This might mean that we have Asian inspired dinners three nights in a row, but it’s so much better than throwing out a packet of bean sprouts or shitake mushrooms that have been sitting in the back of the fridge for a week after one meal of sang choi bao !!
If I make a Pavlova, I try to use the egg yolks to make some ice-cream or a frittata. I’m making more regular trips to the fruit and vegie shop rather than buying lots on a weekly basis and finding wilted carrots and beetroot in the crisper when I finally go to use them. Planning your menu’s really help to plan your ingredients to eliminate waste.
Instead of cooking a meal for one night, where possible, I’m doubling recipes and freezing extra meals for another night which is saving me loads of time as well as energy. Or we take it to work for lunch the next day.
Download a menu planner and keep a post it note in the kitchen to write down your shopping list items as you discover them. Or use your iPhone.. there is an app for that!
The “love food hate waste’ campaign has lots of tips and information listed on the website including lots of ideas and suggestions. Check it out here.
Top tips to avoiding food waste are:
1. Plan your meals in advance. As well as saving you money it will save you time and reduce wastage.
2. Write a shopping list. This reduces impulse purchases, buying excess quantities of things you already have at home or don’t need and then end up not using it before it goes off.
3. Measure serving sizes or follow a recipe to avoid leftovers but also consider purposely making extra and pop into the freezer ready for another occasion (if the meal is freezable).
4. Try not to overload your fridge. This allows good air flow to keep food fresh for longer and for food safety.
5. Use your leftovers for another meal rather than putting them in the bin or compost.
So what changes you might make to take up the challenge to ‘love food hate waste’ ?
I’d love to hear your ideas, or thoughts on this, so please share by leaving a comment.