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Food Waste

Monday, October 19th, 2015

As we often hear on the news, as a nation we’re terrible for wasting food. The UK throws out almost 7 million tonnes of food every year, much of it which could still be eaten, so we’re going to look at a few steps you can take to help bring this appalling waste down, help the environment, and save some money.

 

  1. Planning – before you head to the supermarket/shops/online store, think about what meals you’ll need to prepare over the next few days. If you can, make a meal plan to ensure you don’t overstock with food, leftover elements from one meal might be used in another – for instance the tomato sauce in a spaghetti bolognaise could be used for the base of a pizza another day. Don’t forget to check what you’ve already got in stock – make sure you check right to the back of the salad drawer!

  1. Shopping – try and stick to your shopping list as much as possible. Don’t get derailed by special offers, unless they’re things that you really need. By-one-get-one-free is not saving you money if you throw stuff away. If you see something you can’t resist, remember to not buy something else to avoid buying too much. Check Best Before and Use By dates, try and find the longest lasting produce available.

  1. Cooking – Unless you’re planning to over-produce in order to have leftovers for lunches, be careful of portion sizes. Weigh out things like rice and pasta (50-75g dry per person) as it’s super easy to end up cooking far too much. Keeping portions sensible is not only money and waste saving, but healthier too. If there is leftover food, see what you can refrigerate or freeze for either eating or incorporating into another meal later.

  1. Food Near Expiration – Try and keep track of the fresh food you have and what you are likely to not use before the Use By date expires (Use By dates should always be adhered to). Get things into the freezer as soon as you know you’re unlikely to eat them on time. Remember Best Before dates are advisory only so use your own judgement as to whether the food is still good. I know I’ve had vegetables way past Best Before which have still been fine to cook with – I often make something like a chilli to use up odds and ends of slightly sad looking veg, you can pretty much throw anything in.

  2. Disposal – Sometimes there’s no avoiding throwing away some food, and luckily many London Boroughs now have collection schemes, with small brown bins for gathering food waste. Your local council will be able to advise what you can put into these. If you have one, use it.

  1. Composting – If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, you could consider getting a composting bin and creating your own nutrient rich compost to feed your plants and flowers with. Whilst you won’t be able to throw dairy or meat produce into it, you can put all sorts of vegetable waste, coffee grounds, eggs shells etc, and you’ll be able to put garden waste into it too. Nature’s recycling at its best. If you’ve not got space for a composting bin, you could consider a wormery…

 

For more help with managing down food waste and setting up a composting bin or a wormery, checkout the links below…

 

http://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/content/about-food-waste-1

http://www.recyclenow.com/reduce/home-composting

http://www.wormcity.co.uk/




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