Hi there, Scarlett again. Last time we looked at how to reduce waste while shopping, this time let’s look at how to reduce food waste at home.
- Store your food correctly! Fruit and vegetables last longer if you keep them in the fridge. Why not reuse food packaging for storing food? More information on how to store food can be found on the Love Food, Hate Waste website.
- Practice first in, first out with your food shopping. When you shop, move older products to the front of the fridge/cupboard/freezer and use those first.
- The freezer is your friend! You can freeze pretty much everything (apart from soft cheese). I recently found out that you can freeze cake – just make sure you slice it into portions beforehand (“leftover cake” is not a term I’m familiar with but your willpower may be greater than mine)! Be sure to date and label everything before you put it in the freezer so that you know when you put it in there and what it is, imagine preparing your spaghetti and getting out what you think to be a nice bolognaise sauce and it turns out to be soup!
- Invest in Tupperware containers to ensure you have enough storage options for food! These can be found cheaply in Pound shops.
- Bread! This one gets its own little bullet point because according to Greener Scotland every day in Scotland we throw away the equivalent of 2.6 million slices of bread! If you find it hard getting through loaves of bread, freeze it (in slices) and pop the frozen bread directly in the toaster for breakfast or defrost it in the microwave for sandwiches, you can also defrost a few slices the night before if you are planning on having sandwiches the next day.
- Identify foods that you throw away regularly and stop buying them! Or buy less of these items, or less often. To help you to do this, why not try keeping a food waste diary to jot down the foods you throw away most often, at which times and why. You can find an interactive food waste diary which you can access and fill in by clicking here.
- Not all food date labels are equal. Check the use by/sell by dates and understand them! Best before refers to food quality rather than food safety, so as long as it looks and smells ok, dig in. Use by means that you should eat the item before and up until the date only and display until/sell by dates can be ignored completely as they are a guide for shop staff. Love Food, Hate Waste have a good guide on their website.
Remember to check back next week for tips on how to cut down on food waste while cooking. 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.