It’s no surprise to anyone that humans seriously waste a sh*t ton of food every single day. Whether it be those leftovers that you’re not in the mood to have or the vegetables in the crisper that are slightly limp, we are all guilty of wasting more than we really should. It is estimated than in the United States, organic waste is the second highest component of landfills, which as we all know are the largest source of methane emissions. Yucky poo! On top of that, almost 50% of food supply is thrown into the bin, equalling about 10 kilos of food waste per person per month. This is just in the United States.
In Australia, people are throwing out an average of $1000 worth of spoiled or unwanted food per year. That is literally enough food to feed me for like, an entire year! 1 out of every 5 grocery bags of food purchased in Australia is thrown in the trash. This is actually bat sh*t crazy if you think about it. Terrible for the environment, terrible for your bank account and terrible for people who don’t have any food at all in the less fortunate parts of our little planet.
Worldwide figures are even more astonishing. Wait for it yo. Annually, consumers in industrialized countries waste as much food as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa. The amount of food waste produced as a planet each year amounts to more than half of the world’s annual cereal crops. Shame on us, little spoilt brats we are. CAN WE JUST STOP IT? 😀
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Now, I am by no means perfect when it comes to this issue. I throw out stuff all the time – I really shouldn’t but I do. With that said, there are ways we can all go about trying to reduce food wastage and shift this situation in a positive direction. Check out these 5 tips on how to reduce your personal food waste. Trust me, if all of us 6 million freaks do our part, it will add up to MASSIVE amounts of beneficial change. Let’s go!
1.Stop With The Massive Grocery Hauls
Look, I know it’s easier to do all the shopping for the week on a Sunday, but when it comes to trying to reduce food wastage, this is one of the biggest culprits out there. A lot of fruit and vegetables only have a shelf life of between 2-5 days. Any more than that and you’re left with limp Asparagus, sour Melons and just a bunch of nasty sh*t left in your crisper. Most of us do not even store our produce properly, further reducing their shelf lives. It may seem a good idea to buy 3 tonnes of produce on the weekend for the upcoming week, but in reality, with our hectic lives of the 21st century, you’ll probably end up throwing a lot of that out.
Now, how do we change this? I much prefer to shop a couple of times a week, only buying what I need for the next two days at once. Sure, this sounds like a bloody hassle. But hey, it’s gonna save you money, it ensures all your food is fresh, and it stops half of your shopping from going down the garbage chute. Food waste averted.
2. Stop Cooking For An Army – Seriously
Our concept of portion sizes these days are completely whack. My bag of pasta says “Serves 2” but you know what, I’ve had it for 3 weeks now. Many recipes and cookbooks these days tailor for bigger servings in this day and age. A recipe that used to say “Serves 8” now says “Serves 6”. Sure, you can cook up a whole load of food and eat the leftovers for the next 6 days, but let’s be real here, no one is going to eat 4 day old Spaghetti. It just doesn’t happen.
What do we do? Cut recipes in half. Cook smaller portions. Perhaps even freeze food should you by some chance end up making too much. Freezing is a great way of storing food for months, meaning you do not have to eat the same thing day after day. I personally like to make a half portion of everything I’m cooking, especially because I live alone. I give leftovers to friends, and occasionally freeze the remainder. No one rejects free food 🙂
3. Your Mom’s Tupperware Containers Do Come In Handy
Fancy locking containers or Tupperware isn’t for stay at home moms or grandmas. It is actually the best way to store your food, especially dry products. How many times have you left a bag of chips out, only to return to it a few days later and realize it’s turned into a pile of stale and soggy crud? Yeah, often. Keep Candy, Oats, Chips, Cookies and Biscuits in good quality, air tight containers to keep them fresh for weeks. When they’re fresh, YOU DON’T HAVE TO THROW THEM OUT! No more food waste!
4. Stop Being Selfish – Start Donating
Let’s be honest, we are a society of hoarders. We’ll have 300 cans of beans or soup in the cupboard, and most of the time we’ll never truly end up consuming all of it. Thankfully, there are a lot of Food Banks these days that collect dry goods, tinned food, snacks and other non-perishables to give to the needy and the homeless. Got 28 cans of Tomato Soup? Donate 10 to your local food bank. Not only will you be preventing future food wastage, you’ll also be feeding someone who really needs it. Win, win!
Why not gather your friends and family, get them all to donate their dry goods and make an outing out of it? Sounds fun, and you can catch Pokemon along the way! Whoop!
5. Get Creative With Leftovers
So, we’ve touched on the topic of leftovers. Lets just say you do indeed end up with a tub full of leftover mash. Great news is, you don’t have just force yourself to eat mash all day errday. GET CREATIVE! Start looking at recipe blogs, (ha, like mine), cookbooks or websites. Use that plain mash you have to top a Shepherd’s Pie, or make Gnocchi with it. There are so many wonderful ways to turn leftovers into something amazing. All it takes is a little passion, excitement and effort. All of which pays off in the long run, for your health, your bank account, and the environment! (Again, Leonardo, if you’re reading this, hit me up boo).
Mary Ellen @ VNutrition says