We are all culprits of wasting food. Veggies that have gone soggy in the fridge, to simply making too much food. Its an easy thing to do, but the problem is that we are pouring money down the drain, and wasting the earth’s finite resources. The estimate is that Australia throws away around $8 billion dollars worth of food every year. A large amount of this is thrown away at the consumer level-in our homes, and the other part is at the farm/supplier level. If food looks “bad” then often it will get thrown away before it gets the chance to be sold. This food is still good to use, big chain supermarkets have trained us into thinking that fruit and veg should only be bought if it looks perfect, and anything else should be thrown away. We need to change our perfect ideals of what fruit and veggies should look like, because the produce that looks “bad” still has the exact same nutrients as its “perfect” counterparts.
So here are my 5 steps to less food waste:
1. Plan, purchase, prep:
If we plan our weekly menus, and purchase only what we need that week, we are far less likely to have food that goes to waste, especially if we have prepared dinners and lunches already. Making things like stews, curries and soups are a great way to prevent food wastage, because even if you make too much, it can be put in the freezer for another meal.
2. Don’t buy everything:
My nana grew up during the war, which means she hoarded EVERYTHING. But we really don’t have to do that now, food is always available, and we don’t have to worry about not having any. Unless you are adamant that there will be a zombie apocalypse or something, I think we are good. So when something is on special, don’t buy more than what you need, unless is a non-perishable item.
3. Store food properly
A large amount of food waste occurs because we a negligent with storage. We leave leftovers out, fruit and veggies aren’t kept cool, or food isn’t kept in sealed containers. Not only is this wasting food, its unsafe. All sorts of nasty bacteria can grow on food that isn’t stored safely.
A way to get waste out of the landfills and into our gardens is to compost. I have found since starting composting, that I take much more notice as to what i’m throwing away. I can see how much of my fruit and veggies just get dumped because for whatever reason they aren’t edible. So instead I have become more aware of how much i’m wasting, and his includes non-food waste too. I now recycle more, and my normal rubbish bin only goes out every few weeks, sometimes only once a month.
5. Grow your own
One of the best ways I have found to reduce food wastage is to start growing your own. Once you realize how much time, love and effort it takes to grow food, you stop wasting it. For example one head of lettuce takes around 2-3 months to grow, after growing one yourself, those ‘bad leaves’ won’t look so bad after all.
I found this great info graphic that perfectly explains the situation: