The latest numbers reveal that in the UK we throw away around 10.2 million tonnes of food and drinks every year.
Up to 40% of misshapen, blemished, discoloured or ‘odd’ sized fruit and vegetables are dumped before even leaving the farm.
On top of that there is food which spoils during transit, food thrown away by retailers once past its best before date, and of course that which we ourselves pay for and take home, that somehow becomes destined only for the dustbin.
After the farm gate, households account for around 70% of the food thrown away.
It all adds up to an awful waste, in the true sense of the word.
Top Tips to Reduce Your Food Waste
1. Use the first in, first out rule – when you bring home fresh foods, practice a bit of stock rotation. Put the new yoghurt at the back of the fridge for example. Simple, but very effective.
2. Plan your meals – this can takes a bit of practice, but can keep the extra pounds out of landfill and in your purse instead.
3. Use a local greengrocer – you can then buy only what you need to. You will also be supporting a local business, and bringing home less plastic packaging.
4. Make friends with your freezer – have you tried batch cooking? Make a big batch of your favourite, most food can easily be frozen with a few exceptions. It will save you time, energy, and money in the long run – it’s really a no-brainer.
5. Love your leftovers – We know you’ve heard it before … but make a plan for them. You’ve already bought them, prepared them, and cooked them. Make the most of it and save yourself some time and money in the process.
Did You Know?
There are a growing number of food sharing apps where everyday people and food businesses can share their surplus food with others who live nearby.
Below are the links to some apps already operating in this area. If you’re not from around here, do check them out anyway because new locations are added daily.
Olio – https://olioex.com/
Too Good To Go – https://toogoodtogo.co.uk/en-gb
The No Waste app linked below works a little differently, by keeping an inventory of your food so that you don’t buy more of what you already have, and can easily plan meals depending on what you have in stock. Currently only available on iPhone, but this may change in the future.
No Waste – https://www.nowasteapp.com/
Written by: cat@ink+KIN.
Images (sent separately): ink+KIN, Unsplash.
Sources: BBC, BBC Good Food, British Heart Foundation, Wrap.org.