Today is the 28th of April, which is also ‘Stop Food Waste Day’! Food Waste is something all of us have been guilty of, however there are lots of simple solutions to try and reduce your household’s food waste… Read on to find out our best solutions in reducing your food waste, or what you can do with your food waste rather than throw it away!
Plan Your Meals Ahead
This might sound like an obvious one, but planning your meals ahead is a great way to ensure you don’t waste food. By sitting down at the beginning of a week and workout out a meal plan, you can work out what you need for each meal and the correct portion sizes. This will stop you having leftovers on your plate, or ending up with food left over in the fridge that ends up going off!
Only Buy What You Need
This links into our point above – only buy what you need to make the meals you have planned. If you’ve already got food in the fridge for dinner, don’t be tempted by anything else that might catch your eye… Even if it is in the reduced section, or smells amazing!
Cook In Bulk
A lot of the time the ingredients we need are only available in a pack that is more than one serving size, and cooking just one portion at a time can be difficult if you live alone or eat on your own. Cooking in bulk is a great solution for this! Not only does it save the time that could be spent cooking in the future, it also can save you money if you’re buying bigger packs to make more portions! Buying bigger packs is also a great way of reducing the amount of packaging of products too.
Use Your Freezer
If you’re cooking in bulk but don’t want to be eating the same thing every night, make use of your freezer! If you freeze portions for the freezer these can last for months. It’s not just ready made meals that you should be freezing either – if you buy a big pack of something that will go off before you can use it all, just portion it out and freeze it. There are some great eco-friendly, reusable freezer bags that you can buy too! Most products can be frozen – meat, veg, bread… There is a great article here you can read if you’re unsure!
Why not also try buying frozen food you know goes off quickly, such as vegetables? There’s a common misconception that frozen vegetables aren’t as healthy as fresh, but this isn’t the case as the vegetables are frozen at their peak ripeness, meaning they’re packed full of nutrients. Unfortunately frozen vegetables come in plastic packaging, so if you are buying them make sure to recycle the bags properly.
When cooking we are often going to have some waste – whether this is the peelings from your vegetables or skins of your fruit. It’s great to look up ways we can use these in our cooking (for example, boiling vegetable scraps or bones to create stock, using the tops of carrots for pesto!), but if you are going to throw them away, why not compost? Many cities have a food waste recycling bin that is collected (including RTW). This isn’t something we have in Brighton, but the council do run community composting schemes with Brighton & Hove Food Partnership. Or, if you’ve got a garden big enough, have your own compost bin! You can then use this nutrient rich compost to plant your own vegetables in your garden.
If you have leftover food that is still in date, you can donate these to a local food bank to help others who may otherwise go hungry. Below is a list of places that accept food donations:
Around the UK:
The Trussell Trust (across the UK inc. Brighton)
Fareshare – if you’re a business with leftover food
How do you tackle food waste? Let us know on socials!