Have you ever stopped to think about food waste ? When we stop to think about how much food we may throw away in a week, it can be a shock to realize how much we bin! While we may think that we are quite frugal , you may find once you sit down and look at your food habits, you can actually save a lot of money, plus find easy ways to prevent food waste.
Every year we throw away tons of unused food, and it’s an awful waste. I am sure you probably heard from your parents the same story that I heard from mine. Eat your food, there are plenty of starving people are in the world who would be very grateful for what you have! And its true. We often take for granted that there will always be food on our plates and there will always be an easily accessible supply.
Here are our 10 easy tips to reduce food wastage and you will be able to think of a few more I am sure… By being aware of our consumer and spending habits we can make a change for the benefit of all.
1). Invest In Quality
Dig deep and spend more on eating eco-friendly foods. A survey by the American vegetable industry body United Fresh, reveals 40 per cent of grocery shoppers would be willing to pay more for certified sustainable products.
This also applies to eating out. A study by Ohio State University found that 65 per cent of people would pay 10 per cent more to eat at a “green” restaurant.
Our Tip: Environmentally-friendly choices can make you feel good and motivate you not to waste a cent. Plan meals in advance and buy only the exact quantity you need of quality groceries. That way, any extra cost will be offset by the fact that you’ll be more likely to stick to your healthy meal plan,rather than order pizza because you “can’t be bothered cooking”.
2). Brew Bones
Rather than throwing out the carcass after your Sunday roast, use it to make a rich vitamin and mineral filled stock. This wholesome healing liquid, known as bone broth, is great for adding flavour to soups, stews and risottos, and its high antioxidant content can boost your hair, skin and nails, assist in bone repair, heal your immune system and gut health, and ease colds and flu.
Our Tip: To make a broth, place 5 litres of water in a pot with 1.5kg of chicken or beef bones; 2 each of chopped celery stalks, carrots and brown onions; a few sprigs each of fresh rosemary, thyme, parsley and bay leaves; and seasoning. Bring to the boil, then simmer, uncovered, for 3 hours. Strain through a fine colander, cool, then freeze or store in the fridge for 3 days.
3). Host A Waste Free Party
Spread the word about food-saving by hosting a sustainable dinner party. The Give a Fork! initiative is run by not-for-profit group Sustainable Table, and encourages people to host a waste-free dinner party by using locally sourced ingredients and producing minimal waste. You register the ticket price you wish to charge (proceeds go towards the meal and a percentage goes to the organization’s sustainable food education program), and receive info, recipes and advice on mindful eating practices.
Our Tip: Giveafork.com.au advises keeping potatoes, pumpkin and onions in a cardboard box or canvas bag in a cool, dark place such as the bottom of a cupboard. This will make them last longer.
4). Eat The Peel And Stalk
The oft-discarded parts of fruit and veg can be just as nutrient-rich as the flesh. Potato skins contain potassium and B vitamins, apple skins have cancer-fighting properties, kiwifruit skins contain vitamin C, and broccoli and kale stalks are extra high in fibre.
Our Tip: If you don’t like the texture or taste, blend your fruit and veg in a smoothie. Or make a healthy and healing vegetable soup or vege burgers….. Not only will this help you reach the optimal five servings a day, but a UK study reveals that you’ll also get a wellbeing boost.
5). Know Your Dairy
Do you freak out about dairy going off? You’re not alone. A national study into food storage habits shows that milk and yoghurt are two of the most commonly wasted fresh foods. Instead of letting it die an early shelf-life, know your expiry dates.
“Best before” indicates it’s safe to eat after the date (as long as it hasn’t deteriorated) but will have lost quality.
A “use-by” stamp means it’s a no-go after that date.
Our Tip: Buy according to what you need and use – if you’re likely to only use half a carton of milk per week, buy a small one to reduce waste.
6). Get Creative
Do you stare blankly into the pantry looking for inspiration? There are many websites that let you type in an ingredient and instantly offer recipes using your pantry’s contents.
Our Tip: Invite friends over and ask them to bring a perishable food that needs to be saved, then get creative and create a meal together.
7). Make Meat Last To Reduce Food waste
We spend a whopping $11.7 billion a year on meat. Cultivate your carnivore habits by bulk-buying and freezing. These are the recommended storage life time frames for frozen produce:
• Prawns/fatty fish: 5 months
• Lean fish: 9 months
• Pork: 10 months
• Chicken/lamb/beef: 18 months
Our Tip: Buy only what you need to eat for a few days ahead, or buy in bulk if you have a family and freeze packaged portions for use later on.
8). Get Lemon Fresh
Cut back on chemicals and try using a leftover lemon half as a natural cleaning agent. Lemon is high in citric acid, has a low pH and contains antibacterial properties that can effectively kill mold and mildew.
You can polish a stainless-steel stove top by rubbing it with the inside of the lemon, clean greasy dishes by mixing the juice with baking soda, and deodorize a microwave by adding slices to a dish of water for a minute and then heating on high.
Additionally, kick start your digestive system each morning to cleanse and invigorate with the juice of a lemon in a glass of warm water, not hot water as this will diminish the lemon juice benefits. To help your system become more alkaline, add a teaspoon of bicarb soda.
Our Tip: Create an effective all-purpose cleaner by peeling or zesting 3 lemons into 1/4 liter of white vinegar. Place in an air-tight glass jar or bottle, leave to infuse for about 10 days, then strain and use.
9). Share The Love
Feel guilty about leftover sandwiches from a corporate lunch event? On a wider scale you can reach out to a food rescue organization such as Food Bank, http://www.feedingamerica.org/find-your-local-foodbank/ . Its vans pick up unwanted food and distribute it to 100’s charity organisations in need. It operates right across America and many other countries world wide also have the Food Bank program, donating food to charities to donate to those less fortunate.
Our Tip: Food Bank will only collect food from registered businesses, but may be able to connect private homes that are looking to donate food with local charities or shelters
10) Reinvent Ripe Foods To Reduce Food Waste
Rework an overly ripe piece of fruit with a recipe. Brown bananas? Make delicious banana bread for lunch boxes and a healthy snack. Have some bruised berries? Stew them up for a fresh jam. Squashed tomatoes? Simmer them for a rich pasta sauce for spaghetti bolognese.
Our Tip: Over-ripe avocado makes a great natural hair mask thanks to its high vitamin B levels, which helps repair hair. Whisk half an avocado with 2 tsp of olive oil until it’s creamy, then apply to clean, wet hair. Leave for 5-30 minutes, then rinse well.
There Are Many Ways To Reduce Food Waste…
As you can see, there are many ways to reduce food waste. The benefits of being careful with food, by frugal living and being mindful of reducing food waste can have an impact in a number of ways.
You will save money each week, less landfill will be created over time, a reduction in methane gas, our environment will benefit and ultimately, we want to leave a clean and healthy world behind for our children.