So....we've been in lockdown since March 2020 and we've all realised that we're EATING MORE food ... (doesn't that burger look GOOOOOOOOOOD!!!)
But it means, we're also WASTING MORE food!!!!
How many of us look in the fridge and realise, we've over-filled it and some of it is quickly going out of date, and then you don't really know what to do with it??? We....(me and Amanda), put ours in the freezer to make sure we eat it at another date, otherwise it just goes in the bin, which is a terrible thing to do to food.
But, how do we cut down our food waste so that we're not only SAVING FOOD but we're also SAVING MONEY in the process??
Here's our TOP TIPS for reducing and/or eliminating food waste:
Adopt a Healthier, more sustainable diet....Life is fast paced at times, and preparing nutritious meals can be a real challenge. But, healthy doesn't have to be elaborate. The internet (particularly Pinterest) is full of quick healthy recipes that you can share with friends and family and other Pinterest fans. You can also check out Readly for healthy living magazines. Download Pinterest HERE for google/android and HERE for iPhone.
Buy ONLY what you need...PLAN your meals, think day to day what you're going to have and write a shopping list and STICK TO IT!!! Avoid going shopping when you're hungry, this will make you want more than you need, and avoid impulse buys!!! These are placed at the ends of aisles near the checkouts and down the middle aisle....this is in retail known as the POWER AISLE....it's where you find ALL of the things on offer they WANT you to buy!!! AVOID, AVOID AVOID!!!!
Pick WONKY fruit and veg....don't judge a fruit or veg by it's appearance, retailers do (they have a retail cosmetic standard), which is why so many of them are perfect in size, shape and colour but wonky fruit and veg, although wrapped in plastic, is sometimes dented, misshapen, bigger, uglier but...doesn't taste any different, and is more often than not WAY CHEAPER because it's wonky. And if they look a bit more mature, ripe or soft....they make perfect smoothies!!!!
Store food wisely...move older products to the front of your cupboard, fridge or fruit bowl, and new ones to the back, this is known as rotation (and it retail they do it to every product, every week). Use airtight containers to keep open food (eg. homemade lasagne) fresh in the fridge and ensure packets are closed with clips (if you have to) to stop insects from getting in.
Understand food labelling....this is a HUGE thing that retailers believe customers just DON'T understand. What's the difference between USE BY and BEST BEFORE???
Sometimes....food is still good and safe to eat after the "best before" date even up to a week.....whereas a "USE BY" date tells you that you MUST eat it by that date and no later. Check labels for unhealthy ingredients and check traffic light labels for too much salt, sugar, fat and calories.
6. Start Small...take smaller portions when dishing out food at home, or share large dishes in a restaurant or from a takeaway. When I order Chinese or Indian food I know it's too big for me to eat on my own in one sitting, so I ALWAYS make sure I eat enough to leave myself with a second portion for lunch the next day.
7. Put your food waste to use...instead of throwing away your food scraps, compost them. Download and print a 'what's safe to compost' list off Pinterest and buy yourself a small (or large) compost bin and give the nutrients from the food scraps back into the soil, therefore reducing your carbon footprint.
8. Respect food...this one is important! Food connects us all. We need food to survive, so reconnect with the process of what makes food, food. How is it made, where does it come from, how ethical is it? Is it organic? Get to know your farmers, and more importantly, your local farm shops.
9. Support local food producers...by buying local produce (local butchers, bakers, farmers) you support small family run businesses and your local community instead of BIG retail conglomerates like Sainsburys, Asda WalMart, Tesco etc. You also help fight pollution by reducing delivery distances for trucks and other vehicles.
10. Keep fish populations afloat...eat fish species that are abundant, such as mackerel, herring and salmon or trout. Use an app called the Good Fish Guide by the Marine Conservation Society which provides a comprehensive guide to the most sustainable fish to eat. Download the app HERE.
THERE ARE PLENTY OF APPS OUT THERE THAT HELP REDUCE FOOD WASTE....HERE ARE THE TOP 9 (CHOSEN BY VOGUE MAGAZINE)
KARMA - From the Michelin-starred Aquavit to Hummus Bros, Magpie and Detox Kitchen, this Swedish start-up allows consumers to discover unsold food from nearby restaurants, bars and cafés in London.
TOO GOOD TO GO - Active in nine European countries, this app helps to combat the issue of waste by providing a platform for stores to sell their surplus produce at a reduced price - think food delivery with a green discount! (TRENDING SINCE LOCKDOWN!!!)
OLIO - Olio helps to connect neighbours and local retailers so surplus food can be shared and not disposed of. This also works as a trading platform with other items on offer such as garden tools and kitchen appliances.
FARMDROP - This farm-to-door style delivery service connects the consumer directly with local farmers, to ensure maximum transparency. It combines the highest respect for quality and sustainability with minimal waste and optimal environmental standards.
FOODCLOUD - Foodcloud partners supermarkets with charities to donate unsold food items. This is one of the best food waste apps for supporting local communities through organisations such as homeless shelters and family support services.
GIKI - This shopping guide app enables you to track how healthy, sustainable and ethical the companies you buy from and the products you purchase are, with just the scan of a barcode.
NO WASTE - With a receipt and barcode scanner, expiration reminders and a meal-planning feature, this food inventory app helps you to reduce waste, unnecessary purchases and to save money.
GREENEASE - A handy app to locate the closest restaurants using farm-to-table ingredients ensures that your dining-out choices are the most sustainable with the freshest ingredients.
GOOD FISH GUIDE MSC - With consumer advice from the Marine Conservation Society, this app provides a comprehensive guide to the most sustainable fish to eat - from the restaurants to visit to the recipes to try.