How to reduce the amount of food you waste

April 28, 2021

This post was originally written by former staff member, Erin Dwyer.

It is estimated, on average Australian households are throwing out $3,800 worth of food every year. Not only is this a hit to the hip pocket, it is has a significant negative environmental impact. So how can we be being more mindful of our waste and ultimately reduce it? Start with these small steps.

Step 1: Chop fruit and veg as soon as you get home.

When you get back from the supermarket or greengrocer, immediately slice it up ready to cook or eat. If your fruit and veg are already sliced and diced ready for tonight’s dinner not only will it take you less time to get dinner on the table, you’re also less likely to forget about it and let it get mouldy in the fridge crisper. You’ll also be less inclined to waste it and order uber eats for dinner instead.

Step 2: Use the freezer

Sometimes fruit and veg purchased at the supermarket can get over ripe before we even have a chance to eat it, so if your strawberries have gone a bit mushy or the kids won’t eat the bananas with brown bits – freeze it! Cut it up, place it on a tray lined with baking paper and freeze for at least 2 hours, then place them in containers – they won’t stick together if you do it this way. Then you’ll have fruit on hand for smoothies or defrost and mix into cakes or muffins.

Step 3: Store foods better

Spending some time storing your fresh produce will really increase its shelf life. Some good tips include:

  1. Wrap herbs in damp paper towel and then place into a container or plastic bag.
  2. Rinse your berries in water and a splash of apple cider vinegar, then dry on a teatowel and they won’t grow mould.
  3. Wipe the dirt from lettuce and softer greens, then place in an airtight container to avoid them getting soggy.

Step 4: Use the bits we often throw out

It can become habit to through bits away from perfectly good veg.  Why not try the following instead?

  1. Use the nutrient-dense stalk of the broccoli, chopped finely and mix into pasta sauce – no one will know it is there.
  2. Don’t cut the ends of carrot, zucchini or eggplant before cooking – rinse any dirt away and use every last bit.
  3. Stalks or coriander and parsley add a more intense flavour than the leaves, chop them up or blitz into a pesto.
There are plenty many more ideas out there, but these are just a few to get you started and into the mindset of reducing waste.
Got more? We’d love to hear them.

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