Tips On Tackling Food Waste
Waste not, want not
Annually in the UK, we waste approximately 6.7 million tonnes of food – a miscalculation that collectively costs us up to £10.2 million each year. With food often one of the first things to hit the rubbish bin, it’s becoming more important than ever that we make an effort to cut down our waste output. But where do we start? We’ve enlisted the help of Hannah McCollum, founder of sustainable food brand ChicP (which creates hummus products from surplus vegetables), to see what we can do at home.
Tips On Tackling Food Waste with Hannah McCollum
Plan your meals for the week
Have at least an idea of how many meals you’ll be eating in and then shop around this and what you have in your cupboards already. Try not to over shop, instead just buy what you need.
Save your leftovers for another meal and create another dish from them
Leftovers are delicious and there’s absolutely no reason to throw them away. It can be exciting to see what you can create using something leftover and adding some new ingredients to it to make something different. From mushroom tacos, for example, you can use the leftover mushrooms to create a dip or soup and use the extra tacos as a side with some vegetable dip or salad.
Don’t be thrown by ‘use by’ or ‘best before’ dates – instead pay attention to the storage instructions on packaging
Use your senses (eyes, smell and then taste) before throwing food away. Often food will last longer than the use by date because manufacturers don’t want to risk being sued if a product goes off before it’s use by date. Therefore you’ve got at least three days to play with! So many people throw away food when it’s not even nearly off which is a huge contributing factor to food waste and all the resources used to get the food from farm to fork, hence food waste being one of the biggest contributing factors to global carbon emissions. Storing food properly can also help prevent it going off, so you have longer to eat it.
Freeze or bake, boil, roast or blend ingredients that you think are going off
All the above means that you can give your food a new lease of life. You’ll be amazed at what you can create with a vegetable that you think is on it’s way out – think soups, sauces, crisps…
Designate a meal a week to using up everything, making sure you shop with one meal not included!
One of the easiest ways to do this by making sure you plan one meal less in you weekly shop – meaning you’ll have to use what you already have at the end of the week. Get the spices and store cupboard ingredients that just sit there and add them to any fresh produce in the fridge (or freezer) that needs using up. Hugely satisfying.
Donate to food banks or apps
If you simply have too much, check out your local area to see if your surplus food can go to those who need. You can see a round-up of food banks in London here.
Compliments Of The House: The Brixton Charity Serving Up Surplus Food
Featured image: Ella Olsson, Unsplash
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