Waste not Want not
Do you need to scrape your plate after a meal?
Do you find yourself throwing things out of the fridge that haven’t been touched because they have gone off?
Well unfortunately this is the case for a lot of us across the UK and Food waste in this country can no longer be ignored.
Latest figures from WRAP show we throw away 7.1 million tones of food at a value of 15 billion a year or for an average household the equivalent of £540 a year.
A shocking three quarters of this could have been eaten.
A few other crazy statistics state that each year we throw away:
- 20 million whole slices of bread
- 4 million whole potatoes
- 50 million chickens
- 920,000 whole bananas
So what can we do to curb this waste once it is already in our home?
- Check your fridge temperature
It should be between 0-5C.
Food, especially milk, will go off much quicker if it’s warmer.
- Use your fridge wisely
Don’t put all food in the fridge. Some foods like bread, bananas, potatoes and onions keep longer in cool dark place outside the fridge.
- Water your veg
Placing the stems of vegetables such as broccoli, celery and asparagus in water will help them stay fresh and crisp.
- Freeze your 5-a-day
If you have too much fruit or vege to eat then freeze them.
Overripe bananas frozen without their skin can make a super quick vegan ice-cream by just placing in a blender until smooth.
- Freeze leftovers
Many leftovers will freeze well too. This includes pasta and rice although its best to freeze any sauces separately.
6. Freeze dairy products
You can freeze milk although semi-skimmed and skimmed milk freeze better than whole. Hard cheese also freezes if you grate it or cut it up into smaller portions.
- Freeze bread
Keep as much fresh bread as you know you will eat in the next 2 days and then slice and freeze the rest so you have delicious fresh toast when you want it.
- Create a compost heap in your garden
If you have minimal food waste that consists mostly of inedible content then create a compost heap or bin in your garden that you can place it into to convert to useable soil for growing plants and vegetables.
- Get Creative
Onion peels, avocado peels, beetroot and rhubarb are a few examples of food that also make beautiful natural dyes for fabrics so try experimenting!
Whilst these practical ideas will help, of course trying to avoid excess reaching our homes in the first place is the ideal scenario.
This can be achieved by:
- Making a list before you go shopping and not being swerved by special offers
- Being more self-sufficient and growing your own fruit and vegetables allowing you to eat seasonally and only pick what you will eat. If you can’t do that have a look at box delivery schemes with recipes on how to use everything in it effectively.
- Shop in smaller local stores and farm shops rather than supermarkets. Although you will pay a little more for quality, often organic and British products you will be buying less and from my personal experience it makes you more mindful of making that high quality go further. For example boiling up a chicken to make into a soup or broth.
For more information about food waste visit www.wrap.org.uk