5 Ways To Save Money By Reducing Food Waste
Did you know that the average Australian throws out one in five bags of groceries each year! That means that we literally throw away 20% of the hard earned money we spend at the Supermarket each year, which I am sure you will agree is a bit of a frightening statistic!
To make this even worse the food we throw away ends up trapped under layers of other rubbish in landfills. With no access to oxygen to help it break down organically this food just sits there fermenting and producing methane which is a greenhouse gas 20% stronger than carbon dioxide.
Not to even mention the wasted resources in production, transportation and storage including packaging anywhere from factories, supermarkets, restaurants and your home.
You Can Make A Difference By Reducing Your Food Waste
There are some wonderful organisations out there working hard to reduce food waste but it is also important to recognise that we each have the power to make a positive difference to the planet (and our bank account!) by making a few small changes in our food habits. Here are five suggestions on how to do this:
Plan Your Meals In Advance
Planning your meals in advance can be a great start. It can be as simple as double checking your cupboard and fridge before you go to the shop to make sure are only buying what you need and not what is hidden at the back of the fridge! Or for the more advanced planners working out what you need in advance either the day before or even at the start of the week helps to make sure you buy what you only need and intend to use.
Choose Foods With A Longer Shelf Life
Choose foods with a longer shelf life and use your freezer to store fresh or prepared foods you won’t eat right away is also a great strategy. Think of creative ways to use up fresh produce like making a dip, sauce, smoothie, juice, soup etc and if you just can think of anything then freeze it and save it for another day. Most things freeze well even cracked eggs in ice cubes believe it or not!
Know The Difference Between The 'Use By And 'Best Before' Date
It is good to take notice of an know the difference between ‘use by’ dates which are for health and safety reasons letting you know that this food must be eaten or frozen by the specified date. The ‘best before’ date on the other hand is a recommendation only, the food can still be safely eaten but it just may not be its best after the specified day.
Store Food Correctly
Make sure that you store your food correctly with reusable airtight containers, and at the right temperature. If something is on the way out think about can you cook, freeze, preserve or dehydrate it to extend its life?
Cook In Bulk
Cook in bulk and freeze meal sized portions so that you have meals handy when you don’t feel like cooking. By sticking to serving sizes that match you nutritional requirements you can make sure you don't over indulge or have left overs that need to be thrown away. Whilst on the topic of leftovers please freeze them! Freezing food is a fantastic way to reduce food waste and the options are endless including fruit, vegetables, meat, cracked eggs, dairy, fresh herbs, even pantry items like chocolate or nuts, bread and full meals.
Finally composting your fruit, vegetable and grain scraps is a wonderful way to reduce waste and nourish your garden. Worm farms can be a great way to do this too and with so many different varieties around you can find something that suits your lifestyle.
An Accredited Practising Dietitian can give you personalized advice on how to enjoy a diet that is delicious and nutritious whilst minimizing the effect of food waste on the planet and you bank account.
Source DAA https://dietitiansaustralia.org.au