This shift of mindset can be seen in a nationwide movement towards sustainability, eco-consciousness, and waste reduction.
Our increasingly selfless lifestyle practices are bringing with them a whole new mindset - namely, instead of ‘What can I take from the planet?’, we’re thinking, ‘How can I minimise the harm that I do to the planet?’.
There are several key areas in which we’re thinking in this way, including waste management, shopping, and brand loyalty. Food waste in particular is a potent example of this.
Our food waste problemIn recent years, the change that we need to make has become more pressing. Recent studies have illuminated just how urgently this change is needed.
For example, research from Insinkerator revealed that a third of all the food produced across the globe (that’s 1.3 billion tonnes a year) goes to waste.
There’s a lot of money to be saved here, as Wrap found that the average UK family throws away around £810 (almost a grand!) worth of food every year.
We’re here to help you do your bit to counter this problem. In this second instalment of our food waste blogs, you’ll find the second half of our tip tips to tackle your family’s food waste.
1. Think about what you can freezeWhen it comes to reducing food waste, the freezer is an absolute life-saver. If you’re in any doubt as to whether or not you’ll use something up in time, stick it in the freezer.
You’d be amazed by how much stuff can be frozen. This includes everything from bread and pre-prepped meals, to berries, veg, and even cheese.
2. Know what the expiration dates meanOn food, you will often see a number of different dates and labels, including ‘sell-by’ and ‘use-by’ dates.
It’s key that you understand what each of these labels means. Because, yes, they all mean different things.
If a food is past the sell-by date, then this does not mean that it is unsafe to eat. It only means that it can no longer be sold by the supermarket. If you have already bought the item, and it is at home with you, then it can still be eaten for a good few days after this date.
It is the use-by date that you need to keep an eye on at home. This is the date which the food needs to be used before (clue’s in the name).
3. Cook in larger batchesIf you’re cooking a big dinner, make a bigger batch, which successfully uses up all the ingredients that you need to get through.
Building on the point above, you can freeze all sorts of things, including full meals. So, if you’re (for example) making a full lasagne for dinner, make a bigger batch and freeze the leftover portions. Then, you've got a delicious, quick and easy meal ready and waiting for you.
Not only is this a more efficient use of your time, but it also helps you to get through all of the short-life food in your fridge in one go.
4. Care for your fruit betterFruit is one of the most commonly wasted household ingredients. Yes, it does naturally go off quickly, but there’s a lot that you can do to minimise this.
A number of common fruits give off natural gas during the ripening process. This actually causes any fruit surrounding it to go bad faster.
You can stop this process by keeping the guilty fruits - apples, bananas and tomatoes - in isolation. Also, use the different draws of your fridge to keep fruit and vegetables separate.
Washing the berries immediately after you buy them is another common mistake. You should wait to wash your berries until you are ready to eat them. This will ward off mould, and so stop them from going off as quickly as they normally do.
5. Use the FridgeCam’s integrations to your advantageDid you know that the FridgeCam can be integrated with Tesco and Amazon Fresh?
This feature brings with it a huge range of benefits. For example, you can use it to make your online food shopping quicker, easier and more intuitive. With the FridgeCam, you can actually base your grocery shop on what is (and is not) already in stock at home.
The FridgeCam will notify you of what is about to go off, and what you’ve used up. Then, you can use the device to quickly order what you’re missing online. Not only is this process remarkably easy, but it helps you to waste less food, since you’re not buying any unnecessary items.
If you’re keen to save money, waste less food and live a more eco-conscious lifestyle (ticks across the board), then a FridgeCam is a great investment. Check out the Smarter online shop to find out more, and treat yourself to a FridgeCam for your home.
Written by Josephine Walbank