Reduce Your food Waste With These Easy Tips
Do you know what happens to the food thrown into landfills each year? Many people, myself included, have been under the impression that food waste in landfills will just break down over time and decompose. However this is in fact not the case at all. When food waste is thrown into landfill it doesn’t have the same access to oxygen as it would if disposed of in a compost heap. As leftover food rots in the landfill it produces a large amount of methane and other gases. These are more harmful to our environment than carbon dioxide and trap even more heat in our atmosphere. With 9.5 million tonnes of food wasted every year in the UK alone, the importance of changing our eating habits has grown significantly. We’ve put together 5 simple tips you can incorporate into your everyday life to reduce your food waste.
Don’t Mix Up Your ‘Best Before’ & ‘Use By’ Dates
Knowing the difference between ‘use by’ and ‘best before’ dates is a really simple way to reduce your food waste. The two are so easily confused, often resulting in usable food getting thrown away unnecessarily. Often, if stored correctly, your food will still be safe after the ‘best before’ date. This figure is more of a recommendation of when your food will be in its prime condition. It does not necessarily mean your food has gone bad. ‘Use by’ however is a much better indication of when your food is no longer safe to eat.
Batch Cook And Plan Ahead
A great, easy way to reduce your food waste but also improve your diet, is to plan your meals in advance heading to the shops. Compiling a list of ingredients for specific meals you know you’re going to cook ensures you don’t purchase unneeded items. Batch cooking; the process of preparing multiple meals in advance of eating. Means you cook less frequently but have more food prepared. If you are often too short of time or energy on weeknights, and opt for a takeaway instead of utilising the food you have at home. Batch cooking could be a great option for you to help reduce your food waste.
Compost To Reduce Your Food Waste
Creating your own compost heap is a great way to deal with any food waste as an alternative to binning it. You can compost any fruit or veg, along with bread, egg shells and newspapers. It is best to avoid composting cooked food, and meats as they can sometimes attract unwanted pests. If you have the means to create a compost heap, you will not only reduce the amount of landfill waste you generate. But the compost you create will help improve your garden’s soil quality.
Store Your Produce Correctly
Many vegetables seem to go off or soggy before you even have the chance to cook with them! This could very well be down to how you are storing your produce. Improve the shelf life of your onions, potatoes and squash by storing them in a cool dark environment such as a cupboard or a pantry. It is best to avoid light areas with these as it can cause them to sprout. Potatoes should also be stored separately from onions. Keeping them close together can encourage the potatoes to sprout faster. You can also extend the life of produce such as carrots, asparagus and broccoli by keeping them in water in your fridge. Whether it’s in a sealable plastic bag or a jar make sure to change the water every few days to maximise the longevity of these items. Extending the shelf life of your produce gives you more of an opportunity to cook with it, reducing the likelihood of it going to waste and ending up in landfill.
Use a Meal Prep Service
Our best tip to reduce your food waste is to use a meal prep service. A similar concept to planning and batch cooking your food. Using a meal prep service allows you to plan more accurately what dishes you will eat each week, preventing you from bulk-buying in the supermarket. However unlike batch cooking, a meal prep service will save you all the time and effort of having to prepare everything yourself. This works well if you’re a busy person, or simply don’t enjoy cooking! If you’re looking for a meal prep service check out our menu here.