We could fill nine Wembley Stadiums every year with the amount of food we waste. That’s a shocking statistic to swallow. According to the Love Food Hate Waste organisation this adds up to 7 million tonnes, 4.4 million of which could have been eaten.
Okay then, you say, so how do I stop wasting food and throwing away so much at the end of the week?
Well, you could kick start your new ‘reduce food waste convictions’ by first avoiding those buy-one-get-one-free offers – and if the offer really is just too good (sometimes they are) and you have a big enough freezer, pick it up to keep on ice until you can eat it.
One of the main causes of food waste is buying too much of what we don’t have time to eat, before its Use By date, this leads us to another way of reducing what you throw away: learn what food labels actually mean.
Many of us throw away food before it has gone bad because we look at the Best Before date, which is actually just a guide on how long the food will stay fresh for. Display Until is another date that we don’t need to worry about; it’s simply there for shop staff. However it is important that you take note of the Use By dates on food, this is an indicator of when the food is safe to eat until, eating food after that date is a risk to your health.
Take a look at this interactive guide from the guys at ao.com, which goes into more detail about food labelling and what you can and can’t eat after certain dates. Knowledge is power – and more money in the bank.
Investing in some Pyrex is another great way of reducing food waste, most recipes out there are made with four people in mind so if there’s just one of you in the kitchen, popping the leftover portions into tubs to freeze for future consumption should make you feel better about eating alone. Just make sure you do eat them, you usually have at least a month after freezing a meal to eat it.
Talking of doing things alone, if you don’t have someone to go food shopping with who can keep you in check when it comes to picking up reduced bags of doughnuts, always ensure you eat a filling meal before you leave the house.
Yeah, you’ve heard it all before but shopping when hungry is an easy way to enter dangerous territory and a messy road to food wastage. Apparently you also shouldn’t shop for clothes while hungry, but if you’ve just eaten a big meal you’ll never fit in those skinny jeans in Topshop.
Once you’ve got your shopping home another easy and practical way to reduce your food waste is to store it in the right places. Sounds simple right? You’d be surprised what you’re doing wrong when it comes to keeping food fresh. Here’s a guide that details where to place food items in the fridge and here’s a breakdown on where fruit and veg should go. Apples should be stored away from other fruit? Who knew? You do.
So now you’re wise beyond your years when it comes to reducing food wastage it’s time to get out there, implement these practical tactics and share your knowledge on how to save money (and the world) with everyone you know.