Did you know that over 30% of all household garbage is food waste; made up of things like peel, plate scraps, rotten food, tea bags, coffee grounds, leftovers etc. Note that this figure does not include food waste from Supermarkets, agriculture and the food industry in general. It blows my mind.
So if this waste issue is so big, what are some of the solutions? Here are a few things that will help you to divert food waste from landfill which are common sense and easy to implement.
- Take a list. By using a list you will most probably only buy the food items you really need, and in compiling the list you would have checked upon your existing stores at home and just be topping up.
- Don’t shop on an empty stomach. From personal experience, you buy more food when you are hungry, and usually it is food that you just don’t need. It is like impulse buying that kicks in due to hunger pains.
- Grow your own food. Plant a vegetable garden and reap the rewards, financially, physically and mentally. It has been proven that people that grow their own waste very little of their own produce. Maybe it is pride, or the thought of all that effort you took from seed to table.
So by limiting food waste at the beginning of the cycle you can reduce waste even before starting to cook or dig around in the fridge.
- Menu planning. Planning each meal may sound a bit anal retentive, but it helps you to utilize the food you have at hand. Each item in your fridge (where most food spoils) will be accounted for and will usually be used before turning into some unknown organism that may walk out next time you open the door.
- Use the crisper. Your fridge has different compartment for different types of food. The crisper is the best place for fruit and vegetables and usually last at least two weeks longer than in other parts of the fridge.
- Use stuff on hand. Before you go opening another jar of jam, check to see if you have one already open in the fridge. No use breaking the seal to find that you still have one that is three quarters full.
Finally, what should we do with leftovers? Leftovers are one of my favourite meals.
- It can be put into containers and frozen for lunches during the week.
- It can be used in other meals.
- Cooked too many vegetables? Try making bubble and squeak.
- Too much Christmas Ham? Make a pea and ham soup, or freeze chunks of the ham it for use in a few months time when you crave some hammy goodness.
- Cooked too much soup? Well freeze it so you can enjoy it later.