The confronting truth about food wastage
Have you ever stopped to think about how much of your bin is filled with wasted food? Our dietitian Rosalyn D’Angelo suggests a few easy life hacks which could help your hip pocket, and the planet.
- Australians throw out up to 20 per cent of the food they purchase.
- Up to 40 per cent of the average household bin is full of food.
- Australians throw away $8 billion worth of food each year.
- The average household throws away $1036 worth of food each year.
If you want to start making a difference today, here are my top four tips to reduce food waste:
1. Do a stock take of your cupboard. Take everything out of your fridge and cupboard. Sometimes we have 2 or 3 of the same food items. Put the things with the closest used by dates at the front. Get rid of everything that is past its used by date.
2. Plan a weekly or fortnightly menu. Prioritise meals that will use up pantry and fridge items you already have - especially those that are approaching their used by date. If you’re stuck for ideas, search recipe websites using a specific ingredient. My personal favourites are:
For example, if you have some baby spinach, crushed tomatoes, potato, grain bread, feta cheese, and four bean mix, you could whip together any of the following with the addition of only one or two items from the shop:
- Frittata (just add eggs)
- Home-made baked beans (just add herbs) with crumbled feta on toast
- Tacos made with beans & topped with spinach leaves (just add tacos and taco seasoning)
- Homemade pizza (just add pizza base)
3. Make a shopping list. These are all the foods you need to buy to make the foods on your weekly meal plan. Staples like olive oil, whole meal flour, brown rice, whole meal pasta, sugar, tea, coffee and dried herbs are all money well spent as they add diversity to your menu, but last a long time in the cupboard.
4. Freeze leftovers. My favourite trick is to freeze in portions that you would eat the meal. For example, if you have leftover pasta, freeze it in individual serves so that you can take it for lunch for the next few days, rather than having to defrost the whole batch for one meal. Remember, don’t reheat meals more than ONCE and NEVER refreeze thawed meals.
I challenge you all to be a zero wastage household. It takes a bit of practice, but you are doing your wallet and the planet a huge service.
It thanks you in advance.