Picture credit: Zoe Morrison www.ecothriftyliving.com
Have you ever thrown away half a loaf of bread because you didn't manage to eat it all in time, poured lumpy milk down the sink or discovered a squashed piece of fruit like a satsuma or a banana at the bottom of a bag? If you have, you aren't alone, I'm guilty of all three of those things too! Wasting food is all too easy because you bought too much, or forgot about it or didn't store it right.
There are plenty of stories in the news about how businesses need to address their food waste, but we individuals are just as guilty of wasting food. According to Love Food Hate Waste it is costing the average familly around £700 a year. Food waste can give off methane in landfill, which is a greenhouse gas and on top of that food bank usage has risen dramatically in recent years. There are no good reasons to waste food, but every good reason to use it up!
We need to change our ways, but putting a stop to food waste is easier said than done. Aside from the problems I mentioned earlier, there are also so many questions when it comes to food. Questions like, how do I get started with reducing my food waste? What can you do with over ripe bananas? Is it ok to eat something past its best before date? I always tend to err on the side of caution and if I'm not sure I chuck stuff. I don't want to risk food poisoning, but I also don't want to waste perfectly good food or the money I spent on it! So I've spent the last few years learning how to reduce my food waste and have become pretty passionate about the subject. My top tips for getting started with reducing your food waste include:
- Do a food waste diary for a week! See how much food you are chucking away in your home, how much it is costing you and work out what you could do differently!
- Make a list before you go shopping. Something as simple as that can stop you from buying more than you need.
- Store it right. Apples like being kept in the fridge, bananas need to be separated from other foods and potatoes keep well in cloth bags in a cupboard.
- Ask for help! If you don't know the answer someone else will. If you don't know any food waste reduction experts you can join a growing community on Facebook of people who also want to reduce their food waste here and ask them your questions!
Taking steps to avoid food waste is fun because you get to experiment with your leftovers, it can save you money and it is good for the environment. Sometimes things taste better the second time they are cooked and lots of my favourite foods involve using up leftovers! You don't have to tackle everything right away, just start with what is easy and go from there. Before you know it you will be a food waste reduction expert too!
Zoe Morrison is an eco-friendly money saving blogger and she blogs at www.ecothriftyliving.com.