Top tips for reducing food waste part 1

Stop wasting food!

I’m dedicating this month’s blog series to the subject of food waste.

Yes it’s hot topic now, but really I think it’s always been important.

My grandparents’ generation had no choice to be careful with food and use up every scrap. First, there was little money and lots of mouths to feed, then rationing and then even after that food was relatively expensive in relation to earnings and to waste it was to waste money.

Environmentally, food waste has catastrophic implications, with the wasted resources to create it in the first place and then the excess of packaging and how it can be disposed of, but more than this, it’s ethically wrong. We should reward all the time and effort that farmers put into creating our food by respecting and cherishing it – and if by minimising waste we also save money then great – more cash for holidays!

Having said all of that, it’s not always as easy as it sounds.

Some foods come in packets that are just too large for us to consume all in one go and others have a really short shelf life.

After much trial, error, debate and thought, here are a few tips that I’ve incorporated into my life and quest to reduce food waste:

  • First, I always plan my food shop: I write a list of meals for the week (usually only six as we have a ‘leftovers’ day) and write down only what we need for those meals.
  • I shop online, this way I’m less likely to be tempted by extras on shelf or special offers encouraging me to buy more than I actually need.
  • We never finish a bag of salad before it goes mushy, so I no longer buy them. Instead, I will buy a head of lettuce and cut off and shred only what I need.
  • Raspberries go mouldy so quickly! Instead of putting them in the fridge where they may be forgotten for a couple of days I dip them in water and put them in a bowl on the dinner table for dessert on the day they’re purchased.
  • On the day of purchase, I sort any cooked or uncooked fish and meat by use-by date and stack them in order. Those that may not be used before this date go in the freezer.
  • I buy only small bread loaves and keep one (plus a few rolls, wraps or bagels) in the cupboard. The remainder goes into the freezer.
  • I use my eyes and nose – I strictly stick to use-by dates on meat and fish, but for anything else I just look at it and smell it. If it looks okay and smells ok then we usually eat it! (Please use your own judgement here and don’t necessarily take my advice, this is just something I’ve done for years but may not be recommended for everyone).
  • Every month I have a look in the freezer and ensure that we use up anything that’s been there for a while before adding more.
  • Leftovers for lunch – many different ‘weird and wonderful’ foods left over from the previous night’s dinner have ended up in my lunchbox – just add salad.
  • Veggie, fruity slaw. Finely chop firm leftover fruit and veg, such as carrots, apples, peaches, grapes, cabbage and mix with mayonnaise – I like to throw in a few chopped nuts and sultanas too.
  • Make soup! Any slightly iffy looking veg can taste wonderful when cooked with stock. Add a little curry paste or chilli for an extra kick, if you like.

I’d love to hear any tips you would like to share. Together we can make a difference……

Broccoli is an often forgotten veg,
but this fab recipe revives it into
something scrumptious.

Broccoli & Apple Soup

Broccoli & Apple SoupThis surprising combination of ingredients, work beautifully together to create a light soup with subtle flavour.

Time 25 mins
Serves 4
Calories 107
Fat 4g of which 0.4g is saturated
Suitable for freezing
Suitable for vegetarians

Olive oil 1 tbsp
Red onion 1, peeled and chopped
Dessert apples 2, peeled, cored and chopped
Vegetable stock 750ml (1¼ pints)
Broccoli 1 large head, trimmed and roughly chopped
Low fat natural fromage frais 4 tbsp, optional
Granary bread and Cheddar cheese to serve, optional

1 Heat oil in a large non-stick saucepan, add onion and apples, cover and cook over a low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2 Pour stock into pan and add broccoli. Bring up to boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

3 Turn off the heat, season with black pepper and purée with a hand-held whisk. Serve immediately with a spoonful of fromage frais, and a chunk of bread and Cheddar, if using.

 

 

#lovefoodhatewaste

#reducefoodwaste

#soup

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