My biggest enemy right now – keeping me up late at night and inspiring unpredictable bouts of cursing – is my daily struggle with the evil criminal…household food waste! Now, I’d be the first to admit that I’m not someone who wastes food in the traditional sense: if it’s available, I’ll eat it! I’m also guilty of polishing off a plate of food, whether I actually enjoyed it or not, just because I didn’t want to see it “go to waste”. Admittedly, this is often down to my own personal greed, than any ethical aspirations for a more sustainable planet…
But for me, food waste really doesn’t make any rational sense. It costs us time, energy and money to produce, transport and distribute food; not to mention an estimated £1 billion for local authorities to collect and process for landfill! According the Food waste campaign, Love Food Hate Waste; 15 million tonnes of food is thrown away every year in the UK alone, with 50% of this coming from household waste. That’s the equivalent of six meals every week the average UK household is throwing away! As food banks are increasingly in demand and thousands of families struggle to sustain healthy diets; it begs the question, how have we come to take food so for granted?
So as part of my journey toward a greener way of life, and the fact that I do but (and eat) a lot of food; this week I have begun to make more of a conscious effort to reduce my food waste at home. I have even come up 5 food waste laws I must abide by to keep me on the straight and narrow; because, even some lazy habits are just plain criminal!
My 5 Food waste laws
- Buy less. I’m trying to plan a little more ahead, and making better use of my store cupboard items so I’m buying less on my weekly shop. That way I’ll saving money and waste!
- Don’t be greedy. We are all guilty of cooking a bit too much “just in case” but this often leaves us with more than we need (or a big belly!). So I am going to be smarter about my food portions. If I’ve still cooked too much then I’ll have it for lunch the next day or….
- Freeze it. Most things will save for another day, so extra portions can be boxed up and labelled, ready for a very lazy dinner one night when I don’t fancy cooking!
- Love leftovers. I need to get more creative with my leftovers! Whether it’s a few peas, or half a pan of mashed spuds; I need to think of a use for every last smidge of food.
- Share it. Sometimes it’s overwhelming when there’s numerous things close to their use by date, and it soon becomes clear you can’t eat a whole pack of (veggie) sausages AND last night’s leftover chilli all in one sitting. Sharing food with a friend or neighbour makes sure food doesn’t go to waste, and earns brownie points for another day!