Up to one third of all food produced in the world is wasted per year. These circumstances are not new. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has already shed light on the tremendous amount of food wasted in 2011. Has the situation changed in six years? We do not know for sure, however chances are high that the amount of discarded food has increased. Food waste is currently part of our everyday life. The only who can change that are you and me. Therefore Taste Before You Waste presents you with ten simple tricks to avoid and reduce food waste within your daily routine.
- Buy small amounts of food. You’ve got a market, a Turkish, Indian or regular store just around the corner? Great! Go there and buy loose vegetables and fruits. You avoid plastic packaging and you can choose the exact amount of goodies that you need. If you buy small amounts of food, you are less likely to forget about them in your fridge or storage.
- Go shopping more than once a week. If you just need half a loaf of bread, then just buy half a loaf of bread. Buy the other half on another day.
- Designate a box in your fridge with food that has to be eaten first. Leftovers will no longer be forgotten in the back of your fridge. The extraordinary combination of ingredients in this box will spark your imagination with ideas for dishes. Pre-cooked beetroot, half an apple and roasted potatoes? – Sounds like a perfect base for a soup for me!
- Every time you waste food, write it down and pin it on your fridge. Food won’t be discarded anonymously anymore. You can remind yourself what kind of food you dumped and why. Keeping records of your food waste will help you to prevent it. Mindfulness is the key!
- Most obvious but also effective; make a list before you go shopping! The variety of products in the supermarkets is simply overwhelming. Help yourself with a bit of structure in the form of a simple shopping list. Trust me; it will make you feel accomplished if you manage to go shopping without buying anything that is not on the list.
- Plan your meals around the ingredients in your fridge and pantry. Most of the time you won’t have to buy every single ingredient stated in a recipe in order to prepare a certain dish. Feeling adventurous today? Then go ahead and improvise! You probably already have a required substitute at home. Help the environment and save yourself a lot of money by simply checking the Cook’s Thesaurus, a cooking encyclopaedia which suggests food substitutes.
- Love your freezer and feed it with leftovers. The expiration date has no power at – 18 degrees Celsius. Keep in mind to also make a list of food you put into your freezer. The ‘out of sight, out of mind strategy’ does not prevent food waste, it only postpones it.
- Make smoothies! Chop it, squeeze it, shred it. You will get the most out of your fruits and vegetables if you blend them. Smoothies are a super quick breakfast or a delicious and healthy snack during the day. Guess what! You can also freeze your favourite smoothie composition.
- Make your own soup stock. Put a container in your freezer. Every piece of leftover vegetable will find its way into that bin. You chopped too many onions? You don’t want to compost fresh celery leaves? Add them into the bin. When this container is filled, boil water in a large pot and add the left-over veggies. You can season your soup stock with spices and garlic. Simmer on low heat for at least 2 hours. Simply compost the veggies and fill the flavourful soup stock in jars. Note: If you freeze your soup stock in jars, only fill them up to ¾. The liquid will expand during freezing.
- Last but not least, remember sharing is caring! Share food with your roommates, friends and family if you cannot finish it on your own. They will promise you eternal gratitude, or they will simply love you. Either one is great.
Try to implement these ten simple tricks to minimize your own food waste. One third of all food produced in the world does not need to be wasted if you actively help!