Food waste is a bigger problem than many of us realise.
Food Waste Action Week is on the 7th to the 13th of March. The aim of Food Waste Action Week is ‘to create lasting change that helps to deliver the UN Sustainable Development Goal of halving global food waste by 2030’.
We generate enough food to end global hunger, yet one-third of it is wasted. Every year, 1.3 billion tonnes of food are thrown away. If that food were provided to chronically malnourished people, we’d be able to feed them 10 meals every day, every day of the year.
Although the UK has reduced its food waste In recent years, we still waste a staggering amount of edible food. If the idea of reducing food waste seems overwhelming, fear not, we have put together 10 tips on reducing your food waste, read on to learn more.
1. Save Your Leftovers
Although many people save leftovers from their big meals, they are usually forgotten in the fridge and chucked away when they go bad.
If you cook frequently and often have leftovers, set aside a day to use up any that have been collected in the refrigerator. It’s a fantastic technique to avoid wasting food, whilst also saving you both time and money.
2. Utilise Your Freezer
Freezing food is one of the simplest ways to keep it fresh, and the list of foods that freeze well are extensive.
Greens that are too soft to use in your favourite salad, for example, can be frozen in freezer-safe bags or containers and utilised later in smoothies or other dishes. Extra herbs can be blended with olive oil and chopped garlic and frozen in ice cube trays for a convenient and delightful complement to sautés and other recipes.
Leftovers from dinners, excess produce from your local farm market, and bulk meals such as soups and chilis can all be frozen. It’s an excellent method to ensure that you always have a nutritious, home-cooked meal on hand.
3. Choose The Wonky Veg
Food waste doesn’t just begin in the fridge. Before it reaches the supermarket shelves, a large percentage of fruit and vegetables is rejected. Even though it is edible, produce grown in the UK that does not match retailer criteria for size or form or is blemished is frequently just ploughed back into the ground.
Buying from the wonky range ensures that you get delicious vegetables at even lower pricing. All while helping in the reduction of global food waste.
4. Eat The Skin
When preparing meals, people frequently peel the skins of fruits and vegetables and throw them away. This is a shame because the outer layer of the fruit contains so many nutrients. Apple peels, for example, are high in fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
These advantages aren’t exclusive to apple skin. Potatoes, carrots, cucumbers, mangoes, kiwis, and eggplants have edible and nutritious outer layers.
Not only is eating the skin delicious, but it’s also cost-effective and saves food waste.
5. Learn To Compost
Composting leftover food is a great technique to recycle food wastes by converting them into plant energy.
While not everyone has the capacity for an outdoor composting system, there are a variety of countertop composting systems available that make this practice simple and accessible to everyone, even those with limited space.
A large garden may benefit from an outdoor composter, whereas city people with houseplants or tiny herb gardens will benefit from a countertop composter.
6. Check Your Portions
Many people struggle with overeating. Keeping your portion sizes within a healthy range not only helps you lose weight, but it also cuts down on food waste.
While you may not think twice about tossing your plate’s leftovers into the bin, keep in mind that food waste has a significant environmental impact.
Food waste can be reduced by becoming more aware of how hungry you are and exercising portion control.
7. Shop Smart
The majority of people buy more food than they need. Despite the convenience of buying in bulk, research has shown that this manner of shopping results in increased food waste.
Instead of performing a large shopping trip once or twice a month, make frequent trips to the grocery store every few days to avoid buying more food than you need.
Make it a point to finish the food you bought the previous time you went to the store before you go shopping again.
Additionally, make a list of the products you need to purchase and stick to it. This will assist you in reducing impulse purchases as well as food waste.
8. Try Out A Recipe Box
Recipe boxes are a fantastic alternative if coming up with new recipes is too much work for you right now, and any other way forward is too unhealthy or expensive. They are correctly proportioned, ensuring that nothing goes to waste.
From vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free boxes to meat boxes, there are endless possibilities for any palette and dietary necessity. Just ensure the box you’re getting is low-waste, there’s no point swapping food waste for plastic waste.
Recipe boxes aren’t always the most cost-effective option, but they’re certainly not the worst, and they should result in zero food waste.
9. Download A Food Waste App
Whether you live in the UK or not, you can help save food from being thrown away by using apps that connect you with local businesses or neighbours who have food that would otherwise be thrown away.
OLIO, Too Good To Go, and FoodCloud are three of the best in the UK.
10. Ignore The Sell-By Date
“Sell-by” and “expires on” are two of the many ambiguous words used on food labels to indicate when a product will most likely go bad. The truth is that most food that has recently expired is still safe to eat.
“Sell-by” is a term used by shops to indicate when a product should be sold or taken off the shelves. The term “best by” refers to the date by which consumers should use their products.
Neither of these words implies that the product is unsafe to eat after the stated expiration date. While many of these labels are confusing, the best one to follow is “use by.” In the end, trust your nose! If it smells off, it probably is.
Shop Ethically via the GoEthical App
Whether you’re a dedicated zero-waste or are exploring more environmentally friendly lifestyle choices, you’ll be happy to know that there are a growing number of ethical brands offering low-waste products, which you can find right here on the GoEthical marketplace.
If you are passionate about living a more sustainable lifestyle, then consider downloading the GoEthical app available on IOS or Google Play.
You’ll find a wide range of ethically vetted sellers, as well as a collection of pre-loved items. You can also register yourself to sell any of your own, beautiful items.