Minimising food waste
The average Australian household bin contains 40% food waste, which equates to about $1000 per year of wasted food! What would you rather be doing with that $1000??? Its not only the cost savings though – food waste that ends up in landfill, decomposes and creates methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. So the less food we send to landfill the better for the environment.
Here are some simple tips that can help reduce your weekly food wastage.
Plan it out.
I am pretty useless at doing this consistently but when I do it makes for a much more efficient week! When you plan out your meals also plan the order in which you will eat them. Make sure you use items that spoil quicker such as chicken, deli meats, lettuce etc. earlier in the week so you don’t over look them.
Still perfectly good.
Can’t stand the idea of biting into a bruised apple? This used to be me, but one bruise doesn’t mean the whole apple should be thrown out. Cut out the bruise, trim off the shrivelled bit – eat what is unspoilt and only throw the spoilt bit away.
Shop your pantry.
How many times have you come home from the grocery store to find you’ve doubled up on products you already have lurking in the back of the fridge? Before going out to purchase food for the week, have a look in your pantry/freezer/garden and see what you already have. Not only will it save you money on the weekly shop but you’re creating less waste by using what you already have purchased. Get creative with recipes, use spices and sauces to jazz things up. If you are really struggling for inspiration I love taste.com.au to find recipes using ingredients I already have.
I try to bulk out evening meals with extra veggies to ensure there is enough leftovers for my husband to take to work the next day. This cuts down on buying extra food for lunches but also saves a lot of time in the mornings! The biggest thing with leftovers is to make sure you store them correctly to avoid getting sick!
Does not involve performing CPR on vegetables – this is how you bring back the rubbery, limp carrots that have been sitting in your fridge for too long. Generally it involves rehydrating the vegetable by trimming its end and sticking it in cool water until it regains its firmness. It is a useful tip to bring vegetables back to a state fit for consumption (although eating a rubbery carrot never hurt anyone). This method is especially useful for celery, carrots, whole lettuce, potatoes, salad leaves, spinach, broccoli and herbs.
Proper food storage is so important to minimise food waste. When a recipe only calls for a portion of a vegetable to be used i like to place a beeswax wrap over the cut end before storing it in the fridge, I love these ones by mind your own beeswax. The Swag is a great product that keeps your fresh produce – fresh! It allows produce to breathe while keeping it hydrate inside your fridge – a great way to ditch the rubbery carrots!
Before you throw those vegetable scraps into your compost a great way to get more use out of them is to make your own Vegetable stock. Place your vegetable scraps into a pot, cover with water and let it simmer for half an hour to an hour. Strain the liquid, place your scraps into the compost and the liquid into a container ready to freezer or use in tomorrow nights dinner.
Obvious choice – we all know about composting. You can put fruit and vegetable scraps, as well as anything grain based, paper products, egg shells and coffee grounds. Avoid putting meat and dairy in there. From your food waste you can create a nutrient rich soil to use to grow your own fruit and vegetables. The ultimate zero waste solution.
There are some easy to manage tips to get you started minimising your food waste – do you have any tips on how you reduce your family’s food waste? Please comment down below.
Check out my latest blogs about my family’s journey towards zero waste.