Minimising food waste
Did you know? According to OzHarvest, one out of every five bags of groceries purchased by Australian households ends up wasted.
No one means to waste food but if we are not being careful with meal planning, food storage and using up our leftovers creatively, our grocery purchases can become food waste. That becomes an issue for waste management AND for your hip pocket too! In fact, according to the National Food Waste Strategy 2017, food waste costs to households varies from $2,200 to $3,800 each year. Not only that, food waste disposed of in general waste wheelie bins ends up in landfill, wasting all the resources it takes to grow, transport, package and purchase the food and contributing to the production of methane gas. According to the National Food Waste Strategy 2017, Australian households throw away 3.1 million tonnes of edible food each year. That’s close to 17,000 grounded 747 jumbo jets!
Fighting food waste is not hard, it just requires better habits.
Why not put your household food waste on its own version of a lifestyle challenge. Avoiding food wastage with easy habits means you save your money, natural resources and landfill airspace. Here’s just a sample of top tips to get into good food saving habits to fight food waste!
Check what you already have in your pantry, fridge and freezer before shopping
- Check the ‘best before’ and ‘used by’ dates on items regularly.
- Check the fruit and vegetables to see what needs to be consumed first.
- Move items that need to be consumed first to the front or more visible location.
- Plan your meals to consume fridge and pantry items first.
- Use a meal planner and shopping list template to guide your shopping list of required groceries.
- Create your shopping list according to the above.
Purchase only what you need
- Take your shopping list with you or use the list as you place an online order – cross items off the list as you place them in your trolley.
- Investigate local whole food options where you can purchase specific quantities and take your own reusable containers to refill.
- Remember to bring your own shopping bags and containers.
- Purchase only what is on list, do not fall for ‘deals’ requiring multiple purchases pf perishable items.
Store food correctly
- Use clear, air tight, reusable containers so the contents are visible.
- Freeze food nearing it’s used by date if possible.
- Check your fridge temperature is set at 4 degrees.
- Do not overload the fridge or freezer so that the cold air circulates correctly.
- Cook the planned meals using the items that are nearing their used by date first to use them up.
- Use up older fruit and vegetables in smoothies, soups and stocks.
- Cook to your meal planner and stick to it.
- Store leftovers in clear, air tight, reusable containers for lunches or your planned dinner another night.
There are so many more helpful resources available to assist you to fight food waste. Check out some of them below.