Today is Stop Food Waste Day which aims to raise awareness and teach people how to stop wasting food.
It’s frightening that so much food gets wasted every day across the world. Research has shown that around 100 million pints of milk are put down the drain every year. UK supermarkets waste 240,000 tonnes of food every year. Food waste is a contributor to our climate crisis and according to experts this is something which is in our control and is irreversible. Today our blog is focused on practical and affordable tips to help you and your businesses reduce food waste on a daily basis.
Our Top Tips to Help Reduce Food Waste
- Plan your Meals and Make a List
Our first tip is to plan ahead. Have you heard the saying ‘an hour of planning can save you hours of doing’? Planning is a great idea to save you time during the week and reduce your food waste. Get some pen and paper, or write in your notes on your phone and make a list of the ingredients you have (or need!) and plan out your meals for a few days. This is a lovely habit to get into and can get the creative juices flowing. Make sure to reach out to your colleagues too and share some recipes and tips. There are so many simple recipes out there. Go take a look at our Earth Day Blog which has a list of foodies we love to follow which share easy, fun and delicious recipes.
2. Bulking not Sulking: Batch Cook your Meals
Batch cooking is a great idea – this could done on a Sunday afternoon or evening. We guarantee you will feel better after this, it gives humans a great sense of autonomy and control for their week ahead. Remember, it does not have to be anything fancy. This can include breakfasts such as overnight oats which is a favourite at VISTA HQ, we love this simple overnight oat recipe. Try batch cooking main meals such as soups (put all the leftover veggies in), spaghetti bolognese, curries and so much more. Go check out BBC Batch Cooking for lots of extra recipes.
3. Your Freezer is your Friend
When you have leftover fruit, give it a freeze and this can be then added frozen to smoothies. You can freeze blueberries, apples, kiwis, bananas and so much more. Frozen bananas add a great creamy and delicious texture to your smoothies. The same idea goes for vegetables, in particular spinach (which always seems to go off super quickly!).
Freeze your spinach and add it to smoothies for extra green goodness. Also, spinach is packed full of Iron, Vitamin C and E which are super for a healthy glow. Avocados are also great for freezing, simply remove the skin and stone and freeze. Together with spinach, they add healthy fats to a green delicious smoothie.
Interestingly, frozen food is nutritionally similar to fresh produce. A good tip is to label your food when it goes in the freezer so you know when to eat it.
4. Water Your Vegetables
Yes, you heard us – water your vegetables. A top tip is to keep your vegetables fresh in some water. Broccoli is a great vegetable which can be kept fresh by cutting a bit off the end (to help absorb the water) and put in a glass of water. This same method goes for celery, spring onions, asparagus and will keep the vegetables fresh.
5. Save your Bread
Has your bread gone past the sell by date? Did you know french toast is best made with slightly stale bread – check out the delicious and super easy recipe here. You can freeze bread and now a lot of toasters now have a ‘defrost button’ so you can defrost your bread for some toast in the mornings. You can also use up bread for breadcrumbs for a roast dinner or on top of pasta bake – check out this blog for some great recipes to make using breadcrumbs.
6. Get Creative
We have a challenge for you – go look in your fridge, cupboards and pantry and make some recipes with your remaining leftovers. This can be such a fun challenge to get the creative juices flowing. Go get your family, friends or colleagues involved, we love a competitive challenge – who can make the best dish?
Now, it’s your turn…. These six steps are great initiatives to start at home and at work with your colleagues. We challenge you to pick one task from the list above to try this week. There is simply no need to be wasting food and this is our personal responsibility to start managing our waste.