How To Reduce Food Waste At Home | The Tool Shed
How To Reduce Food Waste At Home
Food waste is something that you may not give much thought to in your day to day life, but on a global scale, it is a much bigger problem than you may realise. A third of all food produced is wasted, which equates to around 1.3 billion tonnes per year.
The economic, environmental and social implications of this are huge, but we can all do our part to reduce this figure. We’ve pulled together a few easy ideas you can implement yourself at home!
Buying in bulk is often a good way of saving money and avoiding having to make too many trips to the supermarket, but when it comes to fresh produce, we often end up buying more than we can actually eat before it goes off.
Making a list of what you actually need and then sticking to it once you’re at the supermarket can help to cut down on this unnecessary waste, as can meal planning and only buying the ingredients you really need.
Doing an online shop can save you time, money, and reduce the amount of food you waste, as it can be easier to review your basket online and remove items you don’t really need than it is to physically head back round the store putting things back.
It is also easier to stick to a meal plan as you can just search for the ingredients and avoid the temptation of being surrounded by potential impulse purchases.
Serve realistic portions
It’s really easy to serve up portions that are too big and won’t get finished, especially when cooking for other people. Instead of loading up plates and throwing away what doesn’t get eaten, serve smaller portions and then have seconds available for those that are still hungry.
Leftover food that hasn’t been served can then be saved for another meal in the fridge or freezer.
Store food correctly
It’s fairly common to come home from doing a food shop and just unpack everything into the fridge, but some things actually go off quicker when refrigerated.
Peaches, plums, tomatoes, peppers and potatoes are a few examples of fruits and vegetables that should actually be stored at room temperature. Research the best way of storing different foods and you’ll make them last that little bit longer!
Properly organising your fridge and cupboards will make a world of difference to how much food you waste. If you have lots of clutter and mess going on, it makes it that much harder to see what you have in, and things can languish and rot at the back of the fridge.
Make sure you keep things neat and can see everything, and when you buy fresh food, pull older produce to the front to make sure you use it first.
It’s inevitable that you will have SOME food waste however careful you are, and composting is a great solution to the little bits of waste that can’t be helped. Instead of going to the landfill, the food you compost can be used in the garden.
Even if you don’t have a garden yourself, keen gardeners are often on the lookout for compost, so you shouldn’t struggle to give it away.
Fermenting, canning and pickling are methods of preserving food that have been around for thousands of years and are a great way of reducing waste. They’re also not really all that tricky, so why not try your hand at giving it a go?
A sous vide water bath actually lends itself perfectly to canning food, as you can perfectly control the temperature needed to sterilise jars.
Freezing food is another great way of preserving it, and cooking up a big batch of something if you have food that needs to be used up quickly means you can easily freeze it to eat later.
What’s more, your freezer will now have plenty of easy to grab meals for when you’re short on time, and you’ll save money on takeaways and ready meals!
Make homemade stock
A great way of using up food scraps is to turn them into a delicious homemade stock. You can use vegetable scraps, and the bones from any meat you cook to make a lovely stock that is even nicer than store bought.