Hi there, Scarlett here – I’m the newest addition to the Recycling Team.
I love to cook and I aim to not let anything (edible) go to waste. I once made too much porridge so I added some cinnamon and flour to the leftover mix, formed biscuit-like shapes and baked them in the oven. I had some quite tasty oat biscuits in the end! So for my first blog post I wanted to share some of my food waste reducing tips. This week I’ll be focusing on cutting down on waste by shopping more efficiently. Check back over the next three weeks for tips on how to cut down on food waste at home by correctly storing food, cooking and eating.
By cutting down on food waste you:
- Save money on your shopping bill. According to Zero Waste Scotland, we throw away over £1billion worth of avoidable household food and drink waste every year. That works out at £470 per household. Money that you could spend better elsewhere.
- Help the environment. According to the Love Food, Hate Waste campaign, if we stopped throwing good food away, the carbon dioxide saved would have the same positive benefits as taking 1 in every 4 cars off our roads!
Shopping Tips to Cut Down on Waste
- Don’t go to the supermarket hungry, your rumbling stomach will make you buy anything and everything. Only buy what you will eat, those multi-buy deals might look like a bargain but only if you are sure to eat them. Make a list of foods you need and stick to it as much as possible.
- Buy only what you need! If the recipe calls for 3 potatoes, don’t buy a whole bag unless you are sure you will use them.
- Be realistic! Dried beans may seem more cost effective than buying canned beans but unless you are certain that you will remember and have the time to soak them before cooking, don’t buy them. Likewise with “food trends”, kale may be all the rage at the moment (and very good for you), but if you aren’t going to use it, don’t buy it.
- Cut down on plastics during your shop! This isn’t as easy as it sounds as some members of the team found out when they participated in the Plastic Challenge. Avoid fruits and vegetables that come pre-packed and opt for loose ones instead, purchase some reusable fruit and veg bags to save on having to use the plastic fruits and veg bags in supermarkets. And remember to bring your reusable carrier bag!
- If you are a fan of vegetables why not consider getting a veg box delivered to your home weekly or a few times a month? I get an organic one delivered to my home every week. The produce comes loose in a reusable box which I return to the delivery person (so zero waste) and the produce is grown locally which means minimum food miles. Aside from being environmentally-friendly, the cost of the produce is a lot less than what I would pay in the supermarket for the equivalent and because I have a mountain of fresh, organic vegetables in, it means I go to the supermarket less which saves me time and money as I’m not tempted to buy items that I don’t need. To a certain extent you can pick and choose what you want/don’t want (vegetables are grown seasonally) but I enjoy a surprise and have discovered vegetables that I’d never even heard of which has led to me making new and exciting recipes! Any leftover veg can be turned into delicious soups and stews. There are a number of farms in the area which deliver veg boxes to Aberdeen, have a look on the Internet.
Remember to check back next week for tips on how to cut down on food waste at home. In the meantime, if you have any more tips to share, or any questions about food waste please leave a comment, email us or send us a message on Facebook.