I don’t like to get political particularly when it comes to food, but I was writing an article about food waste recently and thought the information I discovered was worth sharing. My aim with this post is not to guilt anyone into anything – which is usually the first reaction I have when someone tells me what I should be doing. My intention is to share with you that there are small things you can do in your daily life that can make a difference. Sometimes the only thing you are able to do is make a change in your own house, your own sphere – because anyone with a family knows that time and effort are generally expended on raising children. But there’s no harm in highlighting some of the facts to help encourage people to waste less food. My brother reminded me recently that awareness is the first step towards change. I don’t have influence over anything in my life but my home and my family, so why not use my domestic reign of power for good right?
Here are some of the facts;
- Worldwide 1/3 of all food gets lost or wasted. This results in losses of about £200 billion spread across households, in the supply chain and in businesses.
- The average UK family could save £700 per year, and the UK hospitality sector could save £724 million per year by tackling food waste.
- More than half of the 7 million tonnes of food we eat and drink could have been eaten.
You might wonder how saving food can help on a large scale? Like anything you try to conserve and preserve, using up less has a ripple affect and will ultimately help us use less resources from land fill to packaging, fertilisers and fuel. There are actually loads of charities and campaigns set up to minimise food waste like Love Food/Hate Waste and Think.Eat.Save and these websites have lots of tips and recipes to help you minimise your food waste.
The best tips…
- Buy Funny Fruit—many fruits and vegetables are thrown out because their size, shape, or colour are not “right”. Buying these perfectly good funny fruit and veg, at the farmer’s market or elsewhere, uses food that might otherwise go to waste.
No…not this kind of funny…
More like this kind of funny…
- Shop Smart—plan meals, use shopping lists and avoid impulse buys. Don’t succumb to marketing tricks that lead you to buy more food than you need.
- Understand Expiration Dates— BEST BEFORE is a manufacturer suggestion for peak quality. USE BY is indicative of food safety, and should be considered particularly for meat and dairy.
- Freeze it – if you don’t think you’ll use it, freeze it!
- Left-overs – Keep any food left after the evening meal in a plastic container for eating the next day. If you can’t eat as is, perhaps think up way to put it to good use on one of Jamie Oliver’s Money Saving recipe ideas.
- Don’t double up – this is as easy as checking to see what’s in the cupboard, fridge and freezer before you go shopping. If you can make a meal out of the ingredients you’ve got then do so.