Top Ten Tips on Tackling Food Waste
- Eat it! This was the answer I gave when someone once asked me what I did with my food waste… It sounds obvious, but buying and cooking food you actually like eating makes it much less likely you’ll want to waste it in the first place.
- Get organised. Planning what to eat for the week ahead really helps you to avoid buying food you’re not likely to use. Plus it takes the stress out of trying to think of what to dish up when everyone in the house is already hungry!
- Perfect your portions. Judging how much to cook is more of a science than an art, but if you’re anything like me you’ll be tempted to cook roughly double what you need every time… Use a portion planner (found on the internet or in good old-fashioned cook books) to take away the guesswork.
- Shop smarter. Buy what you need, not what marketing people want you to think you need. There’s no point picking up a second pizza for the sake of saving 50p if you only need one pizza – and you’ll save even more than 50p not buying that extra one anyway!
- Be storage-savvy. Stashing food cleverly helps it last for longer. Salad leaves stay fresher if you cover them with kitchen roll, for example; mushrooms prefer paper bags to plastic, and mesh laundry bags are a great way to store onions, garlic and potatoes.
- Know your dates. Use By dates are worth respecting, as they’re generally there for food safety reasons. Best Before dates, though, are just an indication of quality and can be happily ignored. Trust your nose, not the number!
- Befriend your freezer. Food that you can’t use before it goes off can often be frozen: simply transferring food from your fridge to your freezer can stop loads of it from ending up in your bin. Think of it as stuff you won’t need to buy later…
- Divide and conquer. If you’ve bought or cooked a meal too big to eat in one go, put some in a Tupperware, stash it in the freezer and dig it out in a few weeks’ time. (If you don’t bother labelling it, you’ll have what’s known in our house as Freezer Surprise – and it’s always a nice surprise.)
- Soup it up. Soup is a superhero when it comes to saving food: veg on the edge, scraps of cooked meat, cheese past its prime and even leftover rice or pasta can all be given a second lease of life with the help of some stock and a hand blender.
- Make food go further. In generations past, nothing was wasted: the Sunday roast reappeared in various ingenious disguises (stock, stews, sandwiches, stir fries etc) pretty much every day of the following week. Get creative with those leftovers!
Check out www.lovefoodhatewaste.com for more tips on reducing food waste, including loads and loads of recipes to turn leftovers into mouth-watering new meals, a portion planner, money saving tips, advice on storing and freezing and much, much more.
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