Are you looking to reduce your food waste at home, save money, and fight climate change? Here are five ways to do so — at the supermarket, and in your kitchen!
- What’s The Problem With Food Waste?
- Tip #1: Make A List (And Check It Twice!)
- Tip #2: Store Your Fridge & Pantry Items Correctly
- Tip #3: Check Your Use-By Dates & Freeze Leftovers
- Tip #4: Get Creative With Surplus Fruits & Veggies
- Tip #5: Compost Your Food Scraps
What’s The Problem With Food Waste?
Considering that one-third of all food ever produced is lost or wasted, it might be time to re-evaluate our food consumption and disposal habits! Globally, if food waste were a country, it would be the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions after the United States and China. So — if we want to tackle the climate crisis, we need to address food waste.
Here in Australia, the majority of our food waste comes from within the home (around 2.5 million tonnes), which costs each household between $2,000-$2,500 every year. Imagine throwing away that much money every year? According to OzHarvest, the top five most wasted foods in Australia are: veggies, bread, fruit, bagged salad, and leftovers.
Tip #1: Make A List (And Check It Twice!)
Prevention is better than a cure, right? Here are our top tips to prevent food waste from ever occurring in the home:
- Before you head out to your local supermarket, take a few minutes to scan your fridge and pantry. Make a mental note of what you already have, or take a ‘shelfie’ to refer back to when you’re food shopping!
- Think about the week ahead and what meals you’d like to make. It sounds odd, but consider the weather too (you’re probably not going to crave hot soups when it’s warm, or cold salads when it’s cold).
- Write your shopping list to keep focussed on the task at hand, and NEVER shop when you’re hungry.
- EXTRA TIP: Remember to bring your Reusable Shopping & Produce Bags!
Tip #2: Store Your Fridge & Pantry Items Correctly
Storing your fruits and veggies correctly will extend their life and minimise your overall food waste. Remember how we said that veggies, bread, fruit, and bagged salad are some of our most-wasted items? Here are some of our best tips to extend the life of these items:
- Wrap your carrots, celery, asparagus, kale, parsnips, and turnips in a damp Earths Tribe Reusable ‘Unpaper’ Towel.
- Store your potatoes, onions, and garlic separately in a cool, dark place using the Onya Reusable Bulk Food Bags.
- Place fresh bread in a 4MyEarth Zip Up Bread Bag and pop in your pantry or freezer.
- Toss a FreshPaper Fruit & Vegetable Food Saver Sheet in your crisper, fruit bowl, berry carton or salad bag to keep food fresh.
- Wash, dry, and bag up your leafy greens in a 4MyEarth Food Bag with a paper towel to absorb moisture.
Tip #3: Check Your Use-By Dates & Freeze Leftovers
Think about the back of your fridge or pantry. Do you know what’s there? Maybe it’s a container of coconut yoghurt with a use-by date that has transpired, or a container of leftovers that you can’t remember making. To avoid throwing out entire products or leftover meals:
- Check your use-by dates for perishable foods. You must eat these foods before the use-by date.
- Don’t worry too much about a best-before date. Consuming food after this date is perfectly okay (if you’ve stored it correctly).
- Keep a mental (or physical) note of what’s about to go out of date, and plan your weekly meals around these foods.
- Place food that needs to be eaten immediately at the front of your fridge and pantry.
To freeze leftovers, we highly recommend the Stasher Silicone Half Gallon Bag. These leakproof, non-toxic silicone bags are dishwasher, microwave, freezer and oven-safe!
Tip #4: Get Creative With Surplus Fruits & Veggies
When you’re looking at the wilted veggies in the crisper and mushy fruits on the counter, you need to think outside the box!
To extend the life of your veggies:
- Blitz up your sad-looking veggies in a soup.
- Use the tops, stalks and peels to create a delicious veggie stock.
- Transform your leftover cabbage into gut-friendly kimchi or sauerkraut.
- Pickle your cucumbers, radishes, onions, and carrots to use as a sharp, colourful garnish on a variety of dishes.
- Preserve your tomatoes, garlic, capcisum, chilli, and mushrooms in oil.
- Experiment with our Fermentation & Preserving goodies!
To extend the life of your fruits:
- Freeze overripe fruits immediately to create smoothies, juices, and ice-blocks.
- Simmer your surplus berries or stone fruits with sugar to create jam.
- Transform your neglected bananas into banana bread.
- Top any stewed fruit with a crumble mixture and bake until golden brown!