We have a global problem with food waste and wasting food is bad for our planet. Here’s why we need to do more to drastically reduce food waste, and 7 ways to achieve less food waste at home.
7 Tips to Reduce Food Waste and Why It’s So Important
Why We Need to Reduce Food Waste
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that each year, 1 third of all food produced for human consumption never reaches the consumer’s table. They state that in high income areas, the highest volume of food waste takes place during the processing, distribution, and consumption stages. This means that as consumers, we’ve got a big part to play.
Perhaps most concerningly, when it comes to the carbon footprint of food waste, they state that “if food wastage were a country, it would be the third largest emitting country in the world”. Reducing food waste is needed to look after our planet.
Our hand towels help to reduce paper towel waste in the kitchen too!
7 Tips to Reduce Food Waste
1. Meal Plan
Meal planning is an excellent way to reduce food waste – not only that, it’ll help to reduce your weekly grocery bill, reduce the number of times you need to visit the grocery store, and ease the stress of choosing what to cook each day.
The key for this is forward planning. Put aside some time to make a list of meals for the week ahead, check your cupboards for relevant food you already have in stock, and make a list of everything you need, and the quantities required. Not only will this help to stop you buying food you don’t need, but it’ll also make your grocery store trip much faster and efficient!
2. Reduce Portion Sizes
If you regularly find there’s food left over at mealtimes, reducing portion sizes will help to reduce the amount you throw away.
3. Make Use of Leftovers
Still got leftovers after reducing portion sizes? Save them for lunch the next day! Not only will this reduce food waste, it also saves on food preparation for the next day. Or you could freeze excess portions as a quick and easy meal for another day.
4. Keep an Eye on Use-By Dates
Perishable food can go past it’s best quite quickly and so it’s best to keep an eye on use-by dates, to make sure you eat these foods before they need to be thrown away. Using up foods in soups is a great way to reduce food waste whilst also providing a healthy meal for your family. This is super handy to make use of excess foods such as potatoes and carrots. Bread that’s gone stale could be used to make breadcrumbs or croutons. There are so many options for using up food that’s past it’s best and you’ll be helping to save the planet too.
5. Avoid Offers
Don’t be tempted to buy food just because it’s on offer. Grocery stores are very good at laying out temptation in the form of price offers, multibuy offers etc. Before being tempted by ‘deals’, first ask yourself: do you need it and will you eat it?
6. Have a Snack Before You Shop
Heading to the grocery store when you’re hungry is never the best idea! When you’re hungry, you’re far more likely to veer away from a carefully created list and purchase too much food, so it’s a great idea to have a snack before you head to the store.
7. Make Your Own Compost
Composting food waste reduces the amount of waste sent to landfill, which means less methane produced, plus it produces compost that’s beneficial for your plants and improves soil health.