As a nation we waste more food than we think, we throw away the equivalent of one in every five bags of food shopping this equates to £700 worth of food waste a year! However we can not all be to blame, as food waste occurs at many stages of the food production cycle, but there are small things we can change in our lives to cut down the amount we waste. In this blog, we are going to help you to tailor your food waste action plan by looking at a few easy steps you can take.
Step One- At the grocery store
Shop smart. Plan meals, use grocery lists and avoid impulse buys. This way, you’re less likely to buy things you don’t need and that you’re unlikely to actually consume. Buy items only when you have a plan for using them, and wait until perishables are all used up before buying more. There are also various apps and products that can help you monitor your food consumption, at Smarter we have developed the FridgeCam, it gives a personalised view inside any fridge for a fraction of the cost of an inbuilt device. The app provides a detailed inventory of fridge contents, best before tracker, shopping lists and automated link to online shopping such as Amazon Fresh or Tesco*.
Step Two- At Home
Practice FIFO. It stands for First In, First Out. When unpacking groceries, move older products to the front of the fridge and put new products in the back. This way, you’re more likely to use up the older stuff before it expires. Designate one dinner each week as a “use-it-up” meal. Instead of cooking a new meal, look around in the cupboards and fridge for leftovers and other food that might otherwise get overlooked.
Preserve produce. Produce doesn’t have to be tossed just because it’s reaching the end of its peak. Soft fruit can be used in smoothies; wilting vegetables can be used in soups, etc. And both wilting fruits and veggies can be turned into delicious, nutritious juice.
Donate what you won’t use. Never going to eat that can of beans? Donate it to a food kitchen before it expires so it can be consumed by someone who needs it. Check out this resource to locate a food bank near you.- https://www.trusselltrust.org/get-help/find-a-foodbank/
Step Three- During Mealtime
Split the dish. If eating out, split a dish with a friend so you don’t waste half of the giant portion sizes found at many restaurants.
Take home leftovers. Even if you’re not into splitting meals, those portion sizes don’t have to be wasted. Just ask to take leftovers home (bonus eco points if you bring your own reusable container!), and you’ve got yourself a free lunch the next day.
By trying these few simple steps you could potentially save up to £70 a month. When it comes to food waste we don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly, we need millions of people doing it imperfectly.
*Tesco integration is available in the UK through IFTTT.