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According to the Waste and Resources Programme (WRAP) the total amount of household food and drink waste (HHFW) generated in the UK in 2015 was 7.3 million tonnes. The amount of avoidable (i.e. the food that could have been eaten) HHFW in 2015 was 4.4 million tonnes, worth around £13 billion!
These steps may not seem much, but the total of every individual’s actions can have a huge effect.
Every step counts.
Monique Parker Dip Nut CNM, mBANT, mCNHC is a registered nutritional therapist and health & nutrition writer, practising in Woking, Surrey.
Lindsey Jenkin DipNT, BA (hons), mBANT, rCNHC is a registered Nutritional Therapist.
I use up the cauliflower leaves and stems in soups, stir fries and by baking them. They are delicious and nutritious. I have started to save the vegetable peels in the freezer in order to make stock from them.
I have signed up with the local community veg scheme which comes in just one bag so there are no plastic containers, bags etc for each vegetable. I hope at the local organic shop for the same reason – no containers – just my bag.
I use all stems of herbs, greens, broccoli and any other veg that has stems that people usually throw away!
I use spices for different teas such as cumin, fennel, ginger so hardly any teabags. And pure grade essential oils to add to water so no bottles or cartons of juices or cordials.
I make home-made almond milk – the pulp from that goes into a protein ball.
Jeyanthi Kalairajah is a registered naturopathic nutritional practitioner.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), one third of the world’s produced food goes to waste.
Only one fourth portion of that wasted food is enough to end world hunger. It is quite sad that such a huge amount of food is wasted every year while nearly 795 million people go to bed hungry every day.
Unfortunately, the hospitality industry is responsible for a huge chunk of that wasted food. In this blog post, the EnviroChill team will outline the reasons behind food waste in the hospitality industry.
2. Poor Menu Management
Unfortunately, a lot of restaurants are guilty of this. If a menu is poorly planned, a lot of food is wasted. For example, if a restaurant is stocking up unnecessarily on ingredients that their dishes don’t often use, those ingredients are generally wasted. Review your menu regularly to see what is selling and what isn't and adjust accordingly. Ensure that ingredients are used across several dishes, not just one specialty that might not move so fast.
3. Excess Stocking
This point sort of ties back into the previous one. If restaurants are stocking unnecessary amounts of food just to have all their bases covered, then that food is eventually wasted. Portion size also often becomes an issue. All you can eat buffets are often the cause of much wasted food.
(extract from LinkedIn article)
Trinity Bond is a Cold Room Hygiene Expert for EnviroChill.
1. Eat More Plants
Because cycling grain and soy through livestock is inherently wasteful, industrial meat, dairy, and egg production drive a great deal of waste. When you choose to avoid factory farms and eat lower on the food chain, you are making a huge impact.
According to a 2017 report published in the peer-reviewed journal Faunalytics, a shift to a vegetarian or vegan diet would have about the same impact as erasing all food loss at the retail and consumer level.
2. Understand Dates on Food Labels
Food labels can be confusing. Different phrases have different meanings, and most food is still good to eat as long as it doesn’t show signs of spoilage (an off odour, flavour, or texture).
3. Plan Ahead
Meal planning is one of the best ways to cut back on food waste and actually use everything you buy.
You may want to spend time on the weekend planning for the week ahead. Decide what you’ll cook, when, and how many times you might eat out. Make a grocery list based on what meals and recipes you want to create.
And if you’re nearing the end of the week and still have some unused veggies in the fridge, it might be time to bring out the steamer and cook them up! Worst case — make a big soup and put it in the freezer for a day when you need it.
4. Buy and Make the Right Amount of Food
Are you constantly throwing out certain foods? Do you always have a packed fridge and pantry?
Take stock of how much food you and your family actually eats on a weekly basis and be sure to plan ahead to purchase only that much. You can always go back for more if you need to.
5. Shop the Bulk Section
The bulk section of the supermarket allows you to buy exactly as much as you need — no more, no less. So it’s an excellent way to avoid over-buying.
6. Opt for “Ugly” Fruits and Veggies
Increasingly, supermarkets and other retailers are offering “ugly” or imperfect produce for sale, often at a significantly reduced cost.
7. There’s an App for That
As with everything nowadays, there are apps to help you minimise your food waste.
ShareWaste connects you with people who need food scraps for composting, worm-farming, or other uses, so you can pass on the extras from your fruits and veggies.
Olio allows you to share excess food with your neighbours.
8. Tote Your Own Containers
When you go out to eat, try to bring your own to-go container for any leftovers. That way you’re cutting back on plastic takeaway trash — and food waste. Almost everything holds up for a second meal!
9. Eat Your Leftovers and Shop in Your Fridge and Pantry First
Before buying more food, take stock of what you currently have. Use ingredients that might be close to going bad, eat your leftovers or combine them into new meals, and check out the back of your cupboards for items you might have missed.
10. Use Your Freezer
If you know you’re not going to use something right away, freeze it! This goes for bread, sliced fruit, cooked soups, or anything else that could go bad faster than you’ll eat it.
You can also cook and freeze entire meals ahead of time, so they’re ready to go when you don’t have time to prepare something.
11. Keep Your Fridge and Freezer Clean and Organised
12. Learn How to Preserve Your Food
Take the time to learn one or a few food preservation methods, such as canning and pickling. This way you can keep food good for long periods of time, rather than wasting it.
13. Store Your Food Properly
How you store your food can make a huge difference when it comes to how long it lasts. For most produce (excluding berries, see below), don’t wash it until you’re ready to eat it — water speeds up the decomposition process:
14. Use As Much of Your Produce as Possible
You may be in the habit of throwing food scraps in the trash, but think about creative ways to use them instead — and you’ll be saving money, too:
15. Compost Your Food Scraps
If you don’t want to use them for food or have extra, composting is a great way to make use of food scraps. Composting organic waste can reduce trash by up to 30%. Plus if you grow your own food, you can create fertile soil for growing fruits and veggies.
Check out this easy “How to Compost” guide to get started in your own backyard.
16. Donate Food You Won’t Use
If you have food you know you won’t eat, instead of tossing it you can donate it to a food kitchen before it expires.
17. Teach Kids About Food Waste
Teaching kids to reduce food waste can go a long way towards helping to solve this problem.
And remember, consumers are the most significant cause of food waste — more than grocery stores, restaurants, or any other segment of the supply chain. That means we can all be part of the solution. Start today and see what you can do.
(extract and adapted from "You have more power to reduce waste than you think! 17 things you can do to take a bite out of this massive global problem."
Ocean Robbins is the CEO and co-founder of the 500,000+ member Food Revolution Network. And he's served as adjunct professor for Chapman University and received numerous awards including the national Jefferson Award for Outstanding Public Service and the Freedom's Flame Award.
Food waste in the United Kingdom has been a subject of environmental, economical and social concern and over the last few years it has been receiving a lot of media attention.
Over the years we have seen many campaigns started, such as the ‘love food, hate waste’ campaign by WRAP, that promotes less food waste and has taught us how not to waste so much food, however we are still not doing enough. Food waste still continues to be a worldwide epidemic. The UK household bins 13 billion pounds worth of food in 2015 that could have been eaten.
Food waste is something I am passionate about and so I want to share with you a few tips and solutions that you could implement in your daily life that could not only benefit you as an individual but help us globally promoting a better environment for us to live in.
1. Make use of your freezer.
A freezer is a great way to preserve leftovers, bread or even freshly cut vegetables. With supermarkets offering a wide range of frozen foods, this is a good way to preserve food that you might not eat straight away.
2. Stock your cupboards with herbs and spices.
By having lots of herbs and spices you can whip up a lovely meal with anything that might be going bad.
3. Keep tins in the house.
Tins can be a really good solution especially if you aren’t sure you’ll be able to use up fresh foods before they go bad
4. Go shopping with a list.
Make a meal plan each week and go shopping and buy only what you need each week.
5. Don’t over Serve.
When plating up food, its always nice to give generous portions however this can also mean that people may leave food on their plates that may then be wasted.
6. Donate Food.
If you notice food that will go bad before you know you will use it, and then consider donating it to charity or to a homeless shelter where they could make good use of it.
7. Maximise the food in your house.
Use the stuff you have in your home to make a nice comforting meal before you go to the shops and buy any extras.
Kruti, BA (Hons), PG Dip, MA & Registered Member of the BACP, is a humanistic integrative counsellor/psychotherapist and has been qualified for over 10 years and has been running her private practice for two years now. She is passionate about being green and was nominated for the Venus awards for sustainability for going paperless and continues to campaign for plastic free.
Are you passionate about food waste and want to add your own take on food waste, comment below or contact us to be featured in this blog?
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Olivier is a Michelin-Star trained chef, a leading lecturer on the UK-first Natural Chefs and Vegan Natural Chefs, and a registered Naturopath and qualified Nutritional Therapist, embracing fully his passion for good food and healthy eating.