Did you know that 1/3 of the food that we buy ends up in the bin? This habit can cost the average household up to €1,000 per year!
Nearly all this food waste is thrown in the bin and while some is composted, some of it ends up in the local landfill. In the landfill, rotting food decomposes to make methane and other gases – these are greenhouse gases. And food waste CAN be avoided. The first step is to learn more about what we are throwing out so that we can then do something about it. www.stopfoodwaste.ie and http://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/recipes provide information about food waste, along with handy recipes to use up ingredients and leftovers. You can even search recipes by the type of foods that you want to use.
There are a few simple things that we can all do to prevent food waste this Christmas:
- Be aware of the types of food that you throw out. This week, make a list of what you throw out – you’ll be surprised by what you find. The main types of avoidable food waste are bread, apples, potatoes, salads, meat, fish, yoghurt, salads, spreads and dips.
- Once you know what food you throw away, the next step is to buy better. From your checklist, you will now have a good idea of what you throw out. Use this information to change the way that you buy these particular items.
- Create a list before you go shopping, to cut down on the risk of impulse buys and prevent you from buying those foods that you now know you throw away.
- Be realistic about how much food you’ll actually need to serve your guests over Christmas —and don’t be afraid to be a little stingy. The Love Food Hate Waste organization has a “perfect portions” planner that can help you right-size your meal.
- There are plenty of other things that you can do to ensure that you don’t waste food and money. This includes storage and cooking food. Through clever cooking, storage, etc you can cut back of food waste without affecting your meals.
- Create new meals from those leftovers—again, the Love Food Hate Waste and Stop Food Waste websites have a number of useful recipes for food scraps.
Source: Environmental Services, Waterford City Council