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Stop Food Waste Day

By FLcs 28 Apr 2021

Food waste is central to some of the key challenges facing the world today, including hunger and poverty, climate change, health and wellbeing and the sustainability of agriculture and oceans. In UK households we waste 6.5 million tonnes of it every year, 4.5 million of which is edible. So this isn’t all egg shells or chicken bones... it’s the last few bites from your plate that you couldn’t quite manage, or your bread crusts, or potato peelings – all stuff which can be transformed into something delicious There’s a number of really easy ways to cut food waste, so here are some of our top tips:

Plan ahead and don’t over-buy

Sounds obvious but food waste is easiest tackled by not having food to throw away. Take the time to think about what you have and what you’re buying – do you have it already? Will you use it before it goes bad? Can you take another trip to the shop later in the week?

Use it all

Lots of recipes tell you to peel veg or throw away perfectly good parts. Not only are all the nutrients in the peel but it can also offer a great texture. Next time try a ‘rustic’ mash with unpeeled potatoes, or save your skins to add to other dishes like soup.

Use your phone

If you find it difficult to keep on top of what needs using and when, then put reminders in your phone. You can also reduce waste and pick up bargains through apps. I love Too Good To Go which lets you find and rescue food from cafés, restaurants, hotels, shops and supermarkets so it gets eaten instead of thrown away. There’s also food-sharing app Olio which connects neighbours who have surplus food with those who want it. Unlike Too Good To Go, you can list your own food (like the unopened carton of milk you just bought by mistake) on Olio.

Use your freezer!

Freezing foods is a great way to stop waste. Unless it’s been frozen already, chances are you can put it in the freezer. Make sure it’s in an airtight container and put greaseproof paper between loose items like cuts of meat. While meat can be frozen cooked or raw, its best to give your veg a quick fry first to make sure it doesn’t end up soggy when defrosted. Cooked meals like soups, pasta dishes, curries, are all super handy to have in the freezer ready to go, plus it means you don’t waste any of your hard work. You can also put bread and milk in the freezer which can be such a lifesaver!

a close up of someone writing a weekly food plan

Be Creative!

 Experiment with what you have, revamp leftovers or make a weird meal. Almost anything can be repurposed as a snack or a new meal. Throw leftovers together with some mash to make a delicious hash or use foods up creatively - grated carrots will make a sauce much thicker, parsnips are pretty tasty in a curry, and soups and stews can be made with just about anything. Don’t worry about what is traditional and just throw what you’ve got into the pan!

Love Food Hate waste has a bunch more great tips and explanations about things like what dates actually mean, recipes for using up odd ends, and more!

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