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  • Writer's pictureWendy@wendysfitness4life

Love Food, Hate waste, Stop food waste day 24th April

10 practical ways you can reduce food waste and save money

April 24th, 2024

Stop Food Waste Day is an International Day of Action in the fight against food waste which is a serious and growing problem.

Roughly one-third of the food produced globally is either lost or wasted every year.

There are three main factors: abundance, beauty and cost. The overall food supply is far too abundant — about twice the necessary amount per person, and we want that food to look perfect, with the "right" shapes sizes and colours.

Becoming more connected to your food will help you avoid waste says. Whether you grow your own food you're simply more conscious while you shop and cook, you're less likely to waste.

Check out these extremely easy and practical tips below.

1. Shop smart and realistically.

It sounds simple, but this is one of the most important things you can do. When you go food shopping, make sure you don't buy too much food.

This may mean going to the shops more often, and buying less food each time. If you live far away from the shop or you hate shopping, you should be thoughtful and careful about what you purchase.

Plan out your meals, and make a detailed shopping list with the ingredients you'll need, and when you're in the store really stick to that, being disciplined is helpful.

You should also try to purchase locally sourced produce and other food from places like your local farmer's market.


2. When cooking, don't over-serve food.

The idea of massive portions is partly driven by restaurant culture, but it's started to trickle into our homes, Fight against that, and don't over-serve friends and family when you're cooking meals. Using smaller plates can help with that.

3. Save – and actually eat – leftovers.

In the same vein, make sure you save uneaten food when you either cook too much or you get too much food at a restaurant. Label your leftovers so you can keep track of how long they've been in your fridge or freezer, and incorporate them into your daily or weekly routine.


4. Store food in the right places.

Storing food in the right place is really underrated, it’s often surprising what kinds of fruits and vegetables want to be at room temperature versus in the fridge

5. Avoid clutter in your fridge, Store cupboard and freezer.

Out of sight is out of mind when it comes to storing food, too. If we forget something's there until it's no longer good to consume, that's a huge waste.

Keep things neat and visible, and use the "first in, first out" principle: After you buy new groceries, move the older products to the front so you consume them first.

Also remember that things don't last forever in your freezer. Freezing can be a great asset in extending food's lifespan, but it will eventually dry that food out.

6. Treat use-by and sell-by dates as guidelines. 

When it comes to use–by and sell-by dates use common sense. These dates identify food quality, not food safety in the case of sell-by-dates

Trust your senses instead of the date on the package. Trust your sense of smell and sight and taste


7. Keep track of what you throw away.

Manage a waste log to keep an eye on what you're throwing out, so you can prevent doing the same in the future. The other side is to keep track of what's already in your fridge before you go shopping; that way, you won't double-up on products and fail to use them before they go bad. As obvious as that sounds, we all forget to do it from time to time.


8. Donate to food banks.

Before you throw away excess food, look into food banks and charities where you can bring items you know you're not going to consume before they go bad, and give them to people in need.

You can also donate scraps and other types of food to farms and companies to feed livestock.

9. Try canning and pickling.

Canning is a great way to preserve food (especially fruit) and increase its shelf life for months. The same goes for pickling items such as vegetables can really benefit from that tangy hit.


10. Try composting, but don't focus on it.

Rather than discarding scraps, you can compost certain foods and turn it into nutrient-rich fertilizer. 

But composting shouldn't be top-of-mind when first getting started on reducing food waste. There food recovery hierarchy which states how we use our food, stating first that we should reduce the waste we create, then donate food, try to feed livestock, use waste for industrial energy and then compost.

Composting is really valuable -- it's part of the whole equation -- but it shouldn't be anyone's priority.



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