When I first went to America in 1980, I could not believe how much food I saw wasted in people’s homes or in restaurants. These days a lot of the shopping habits that create potential food waste are now squarely intrenched in the UK too.
Did you know, that currently, 15 million tonnes of food is wasted in our homes each year, most of which is still perfectly edible? On average, food waste is costing households £470 a year, increased to £700 for a larger family… the equivalent to a holiday or even a new piece of technology to add to your home.
The good news, however, is that between 2007 and 2012, there has been a 21% reduction in food waste all round – this is the equivalent of 23 million black bins filled with food! With that said, however, there is more you’re able to do with your leftovers:
Wash your hands well before putting away your groceries to increase the shelf life of your fresh foods.
I clean my crisper boxes once a week and line them with paper towel. Use one box for vegetables and one box for salads to avoid heavy items being placed on top of light items.
Remove vegetables from bags if there is a lot of condensation in the bag, particularly carrots and parsnips.
It you ripen a punnet of plums, or peaches in your fruit bowl, when it is ripe move to the fridge.
Look in the fridge and actually write a shopping list.
Don’t store mushrooms in the crisper boxes, it sends them soggy, store them like this
Store raw meats on lower shelves to avoid any blood getting dripped onto cooked items.
Bogof’s (buy one get one free) is only a money saver if you use all of the food.
Try to get out of the habit of doing a once a week giant shop. An over-filled fridge shortens the shelf life because you are preventing good air circulation.
Don’t always be a slave to use by dates, trust your eyes and your nose.
Try to avoid going to store hungry, because it may tempt you to buy more junk food or to buy Bogof’s you don’t need.
With this in mind, the household giant AO.com has developed an interactive piece to help you to save money with your food purchases. When the equivalent of a whole fridge full of food is at stake, a simple change in lifestyle can just be what is needed. With a downloadable meal planner, tips on food labels, an array of recipes to try, plus a guide on what you can freeze, You can follow the waste less food journey here: http://ao.com/life/kitchen/kitchen-tips/wasteless/