As of last year, food waste became detrimental to much more than our wallets. In fact, food scraps are currently the biggest contributor to landfills and greenhouse gasses.
I’m pretty set on keeping my planet and bank account as healthy as they can be, so I thought I’d share a few of my favourite food wastage tips to anyone who feels the same!
1. Shop more frequently. Rather than spending hours meal planning and grocery list making, take a few 10 minute trips throughout the week to stock up on things you’ll need in the next day or two. This way, you buy fresher, healthier, and end up with much less waste when life and sell-bys get in the way of meal plans.
2. That said, make a grocery list. A small one. And don’t shop outside of it.
3. Avoid the inside aisles and corner deals. Most supermarkets put their ‘2 for 1s’, multipacks, and general temptations on the ends of aisles and away from fresh produce. Sticking to the greener parts of the supermarket will save both your waste and waistline.
4. If you stock up, stock up on frozen fruit and veg. Being frozen often means they skip out on preservatives of canned alternatives, and they last for ages.
5. Buy organic, soya, or almond milk. It lasts longer and treats your body better. (I make my own almond milk and never waste a drop!)
6. Know which fruit and vegetables should be kept in the fridge and which will last longer at room temperature. (See photo above!)
7. Store leftovers in a clear glass container. We eat with our eyes and tinfoil does nothing for our tastebuds.
8. Create separate areas for fruit, veg, and meat. The closer they are, the faster they spoil.
9. Keep your fridge clean. Air needs to circulate around food to keep it clean. An overstocked fridge will spoil much faster than an organised fridge, doubling up on food wastage.
10. Remember, one can spoil the bunch. When it comes to apples, berries, potatoes, and onions, check for rottens before storing a bunch and remove them before you lose the rest.
11. Break your bananas. Quite simply, break each banana off from the group at the stem and they’ll last twice as long. (And if any do get brown before being eaten, use them in banana bread!)
12. Put a celery stalk in your bread bag (or basket/bin). It will stay fresh for well over a week.
13. Wrap your cheese in wax paper, then a plastic bag. Fresh as it gets.
14. Turn your vegetable scraps into frittatas or vegetable stock. Easy peasy.
15. Pickle everything. If you don’t know what to do with it but don’t want to waste it, pickle it. It’s the garnish that keeps on giving.
16. Don’t waste wine. If you and a friend can’t get through the bottle, simply pour the rest into an ice tray and use the cubes in any wine-friendly recipes.
17. Don’t trust the sell-by date. Often, it leaves 3-4 days before the food is actually unsafe to consume (1-2 days if left uncooked).
18. Donate what you don’t want! Bought far too much poultry, sauce, and nibbles over the holiday season? Find a food shelter!
19. Make your dog happy. While things like coffee, chocolate, grapes and milk are dangerous for dogs, other perishables like eggs, sweet potatoes, and apples are great for them!