In the UK, 8.4 million people are struggling to afford to eat and yet 250,000 tonnes of food that goes to waste each year is still edible. It just doesn’t make sense! The majority of this waste is easily unavoidable, so why aren’t we doing something about it?
Fortunately, a new movement that aims to eradicate food waste is happening all over the world. Individuals are finding new and creative ways to use up leftovers, make the most of produce, and spread the message of how harmful waste is on our environment.
You can be part of this new movement just by making a few simple, but practical changes in everyday life.
Sometimes the simplest advice is the most effective. Making sure that you already know what you have in your kitchen before shopping is crucial to reducing food waste, yet many of us neglect to do so. I don’t know about you, but when I don’t make a shopping list I end up buying convenience foods, random items that don’t make up a full meal, and vegan snacks galore!
Dedicate one day per week to using up the leftovers in your kitchen. It can be fun to set yourself the challenge of creating something tasty by using only a few ingredients, plus, you’ll save money while doing it.
My biggest struggle with managing food waste has been learning how to store food properly so that it lasts a sufficient amount of time. Many of us have got into the habit of storing food improperly without even knowing it. For example, mushrooms are best stored in a paper bag, and bananas, potatoes, and tomatoes are best kept in a cool, dry area, as opposed to the fridge.
Another way to make food last longer is by learning preservation techniques such as fermenting and pickling. The process is quite therapeutic and results in delicious, flavourful ingredients to add to your dishes. If this doesn't sound like your kind of thing, then you can always resort to freezing AKA the easiest way to make food last longer!
A plant-based diet is the way to go if you want to seriously reduce your food waste. It’s super simple to cook with plant foods without creating any waste, for example, you can consume skins of certain fruit and veg, save the seeds, compost leftovers, or blend them up.
This is my all-time favourite tip for wasting less food because it's such a simple change to make, and you’ll have a super tidy kitchen - it’s a win, win! Once I started to make a conscious effort to keep my cupboards and fridge as organised as possible, I noticed that I was actually throwing away less food.
It sounds like such an obvious tip but making sure that you can see everything on your shelves really does make a difference. You might think that you’re keeping count of every single item in your kitchen, but it’s quite easy for food to get pushed to the back and forgotten about.
In order to make your kitchen more organised, you’ll probably need to have a clear out of your cupboards and fridge. If you find cans or long-life goods that you know you won’t use, donate them to a food bank instead of throwing them out.