Sunday, 16 December 2018

10 tips to prevent food wastage

Waste reduction experts WRAP estimate that around one-third of all food produced in the world is lost or wasted. In the UK, households collectively throw away around 7.1 million tonnes of food waste annually. This is bad news for the environment but also for our pockets with £810 worth of food binned by the average UK family every year.

Research conducted three years ago revealed that many of us are in denial about our food waste with 70% of people believing they don’t waste any food at all. The reality is quite different, so here are ten tips to help us all cut the amount of food we waste.

1)      Set your fridge to the right temperature – below 5 degrees. This simple change can mean your milk and other dairy products last three days longer. Check out this free tool to check your fridge’s temperature. To go one step further, you could even purchase an intelligent fridge freezer which automatically regulates the temperature to respond to daily use. Check out these ones from Fisher & Paykel.
2)      Create a weekly meal plan and stick to it. Set out your planned meals against each day and use that to write a shopping list so you only buy what you need and use it up by the end of each week.
3)      Store more food in the freezer. You might be surprised at how many food items you can safely store in your freezer, making them last much longer. Around 80% of people in Britain admit to throwing away food that was nearing its best before date, without realising that they could freeze it and keep it for later. Did you know it’s possible to freeze eggs, rice, milk, cheese and fruit?
4)      Use up old stuff first. When unpacking shopping, put new items to the back with older items at the front. That way you’re more likely to use the old stuff before it expires.
5)      Get smart about using leftovers. At the end of the week, have a scan of your fridge contents and look up recipes to make the most of anything that you haven’t yet used.
6)      Keep well stocked with basics. Having a store cupboard full of a range of canned, frozen and dried goods such as rice, pasta, pulses, and sauces will help you make the most of leftovers even when you’re in a hurry.
7)      Organise a leftover lunch. Bring friends and family together and get everyone to bring a dish made using leftovers.
8)      Get your portions right. Try not to overdo it when it comes to portion sizes – if you cook too much rice or pasta you’re more likely to end up wasting some. Use a portion calculator to figure out average per-person serving sizes.
9)      Make more of meat. Meat is expensive to buy and damaging to the planet to produce, so it’s worth making the most of it. For chicken, use up juices from roasting in a risotto, boil the carcass or bones to make stock, strip away all the meat and use it in a sandwich or stir-fry.
10)  Think about use by dates. A use by date is there to indicate a food safety issue and food past this must be thrown away, but a best before date allows much more flexibility – if it’s still good then eat it.

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