Reduce food waste at home and you are playing your part in caring for planet and people. It can help you reduce the amount you spend on food and ease financial strains. But it can also help prevent waste on a wider scale, and safeguard society, systems and environments.
Reducing food waste at home does not begin with what you throw away. Rather, it begins with what you buy.
- Shop with a list (and don’t shop hungry!) to avoid impulse buying.
- Make meal plans, know what you need and shop (or ideally grow) according to need.
- Rotate food in your pantry/ kitchen cupboards and use up older items first, know what you have before obtaining more.
It is also important to make sure you understand the shelf life of the different foods you buy, and learn how best to store them before you eat them. For example, you should make sure you know what fresh produce should be refrigerated and what should not. And you should have a clear idea of how long foods will last before you eat them.
You should also make sure that you know how to preserve food you grow or buy for later use – not just in a freezer – which may fill up quickly – but also by canning/ bottling, dehydration etc..
Next, think about leftovers. How can you make sure no food is wasted after you have made a meal. Batch cooking can be cost effective and a way to use up gluts or excess fresh produce. It is also a good idea to have a collection of recipes that help you use up the leftovers from other meals.
Even fruit and vegetable scraps can often be put to good use. For example, you can use some scraps to regrow for your garden. You can also use scraps to make vegetable stock.
Anything that you don’t use, of course, can be added to a composting system. If you don’t already compost at home, this should definitely be a top priority.
If you need help to reduce the amount of food you throw away, please do get in touch. I can help you come up with solutions specific to you and your household.