On average, one-third of all food produced worldwide is wasted (source: WWF). Shocking, right?
When we waste our food, we’re not just throwing away nutrients and money; we’re throwing away all the energy and water that’s gone into producing, packaging and transporting it.
It’s hard to imagine the impact of wasted food because it leaves our sight as soon as it’s thrown in the bin and taken away, but that doesn’t mean it’s not having a lasting, damaging effect. Most food waste ends up in a landfill site where it’s’s left to rot, producing methane. Methane is a greenhouse gas that is more damaging than carbon dioxide and is a significant contributor to climate change.
Collectively, if we can reduce the amount of food that goes to waste, we’ll reduce our impact on the planet.
Now you know the importance of actively trying to reduce our food waste, let’s have a look at ways that we can do this. Because, sometimes you don’t need one WHOLE broccoli for a recipe, so what do you do with the rest? And there’s always that one piece of fruit that gets lost in the fridge and before you know it, it’s too late to enjoy! However, there are little things you can do that’ll mean you’re not throwing away contents of the fridge at the end of the week AND, they’re not big or difficult changes to make – when you know, you know!
Hints and tips for reducing food waste
- Only buy what you need – plan ahead with your recipes and source the ingredients that you actually NEED, rather than filling your fridge with things that you think you might eat.
- Cook recipes that are focussed on ‘zero waste’ or that use fruits and vegetables where you can use a ‘root to stem’ approach. There are so many creative ways to use all of the ingredients and cut waste altogether. Have a quick Google and you’ll be flooded with inspiration.
We’ve asked our Cauldron family for their top tips on making your ingredients go further! Lucy and Lentils gave us these pearls of wisdom:
- Freezing produce is one of the easiest ways to preserve fresh fruit and veggies that might be on the turn including, spinach, kale, ginger, corn, banana, mango, beans, broccoli. They can all be added to smoothies, curries or steamers without the need for defrosting – easy as ever!
- Save time by batch cooking meals such as soups, stocks, pasta sauces and curries and freeze for a later date. It’ll take an hour or two to make but you’ll thank yourself later on in the week.
- Herbs that are on the turn can either be mashed into pesto, dressings and pastes. Another good way to preserve herbs is to fill a freezer ice cube tray with olive oil and place the chopped fresh herbs inside to make little pockets of flavourful olive oil. These can be popped straight into the pan when cooking to add a boost of extra flavour to your dish.
- It’s a great time to experiment with using all of the veg. So instead of throwing away those broccoli stalks, spring onion ends, cauliflower leaves and any other scraps, take the time to look up recipes that may help get the most out of your veg. Creating vegetable stocks will always be more flavourful than shop bought and this way, you can also control how much salt and sugar go in too.
- There are loads of savvy recipes out there – such as using sweet potato peel to make truffled chips, or broccoli stalks to make crunchy miso infused stir fry. Potato skin peels, drizzled in olive oil, rosemary, sea salt and garlic make the best crisps when roasted at 200ºC for 25 minutes.