So if you are anything like me the Festive Season has now come to a grinding halt and it’s back to the grindstone.
One thing I took notice of this Festive Season is food waste. While I know I’m guilty of over-catering (I don’t like people going hungry when I’m the host) I am aware that food should not go to waste. Here is a quick video that will give you a bit of an insight at just how bad food waste is in Australia…
The statistics are at the very least shocking. So what can we do about it? I have put a little list together of my top 5 ways to help prevent food waste. Please, if you have any further ideas feel free to share them in the comments below. The idea of this blog is not only sharing my ideas and thoughts but to hopefully learn from each other.
I’ll confess. I’m not the most organised person. However I do try to work out a rough plan with what I’ll be cooking throughout the week.
Be flexible with it! If someone invites you out to tea or you just don’t feel like cooking what you decided on a few days ago, change it up! I always leave one day on the menu plan blank. A sudden invite out, leftovers from the night before are not an issue.
Most people are aware of some golden rules of food shopping. However a refresher never hurt anyone.
Always go shopping with a list. I know when I don’t I end up with shopping I didn’t really need and the items that I really needed don’t even make the trolley.
Don’t shop on an empty stomach. It’s amazing how much ends up in that trolley that you don’t actually need because your stomach has taken control. This can also apply to taking children shopping (as well as loosing your sanity).
Shop seasonally and locally. Fruit and vegetables taste so much better when they are in season and shopping locally will help reduce food miles as well as helping out the local economy.
BE CREATIVE WITH LEFTOVERS
So you have some leftovers from last night’s dinner. Don’t let it go to waste. Roast meat always makes great sandwiches for lunch the next day. Or you could cut that roast beef into strips and toss it through some salad. For people with busy schedules last night’s leftovers could become tonight’s gourmet delight.
Do Something! is a not-for-profit organisation that works to create and promote positive social and environmental change. This organisation has created a website called FOODWISE. This website gives you practical tips to reduce food waste and has some of the country’s top chefs contributing recipes to use items that are patiently waiting in the pantry. Have a look around. It may just give you some inspiration for a meal or two.
SEND FOOD HOME WITH GUESTS
Decided to make a big pavlova for your guests? You and your guests didn’t eat as much as you expected or felt too full from the main course? Let your guests take some home with them. In fact insist on it as they are leaving. Be reasonable with what you might eat the next day and send the rest home with your visitors. I’m sure they will appreciate it at smoko the next day.
So you have planned, shopped with a list, been creative with your leftovers and sent food home with your guests. Let me tell you, there will always be that moment when something doesn’t get used for one reason or another. That’s ok. It really is. Just don’t make a habit of it and please DO NOT put it into landfill.
Set up your own compost system. Your garden will love you for it. If you don’t have a garden set up a worm farm and take up fishing. Find a friend that has chooks. Many Australian Council’s now have green waste bins available if the first three options aren’t for you. Really there is no excuse for food to end up in landfill.
Well there you have it. Some food for thought.
Until next time. Take care.