As expected, a huge upsurge of household food waste has come around as a result of the last few months.
Food waste has more than one consequence. Not only is it a personal waste of money for you and your household, but is also a factor in global warming and world pollution. Food waste is a significant contributor to carbon emissions due to the energy and resources that go into growing and transporting food, giving it a greater carbon footprint than plastic waste.
Reducing food waste is an important step to bettering consumption habits, and starting at home can make a significant change.
In order to reduce food waste, awareness and changing the way you buy is key.
Cutting back on your food waste is incredibly easy, and we’ve made it even simpler by breaking it down into top 5 tips designed to reduce food waste at the shops and at home.
Planning meals ahead is a great way to buy what you need, and only what you need.
Having a more conscious relationship with your food and what you are consuming ahead of time will make you more aware of what you need to avoid over-purchasing and having to throw away the excess.
Making a list before going to the shops is also a great way to keep track of the items needed to reduce spontaneous and often unnecessary purchases.
Don’t Shop Hungry
A situation many of us are familiar with – shopping on an empty stomach.
This often creates cravings and impulses, which leads to buying products we would not have bought had we been full and satisfied. Studies have shown that shopping hungry increases your desire to make a purchase. This results in both a waste of money and a waste of food, as buying more than you need will end up being wasted, not to mention possibly falling off track of your meal plans we mentioned previously.
Watch the Dates
When shopping for food, it is extremely important to read the “best before” and “use by” dates carefully. Although some products would potentially still be good to eat past a best before date, it is a more conscious choice to not purchase them if you don’t think you will consume them before the date.
When unpacking your shopping at home, use the ‘first in first out’ method with your dates and move older products to the front of the fridge/freezer/cupboard and put your new products in the back as a visual cue to use up your older products before they expire.
Making sure you prepare the right amount of food is the best way to limit food waste. Portion control is a common struggle, as it can be hard to estimate the correct portions. Even though you might feel really hungry, try to not have eyes bigger than your stomach.
Quite often, food waste is caused by placing too much on your plate when serving up to begin with. So, keep awareness when plating up your meal, and keep the remainder of your food as leftovers in a tupperware to either freeze or consume another time.
The same applies to cooking. At the preparation stage, if you are not measuring the ingredients as accurately as possible, chances are that the food will be wasted.
Perk up your liquids
We have spoken before about the importance of drinking enough water and fluids throughout the day. A lot of the time, people don’t drink enough water simply because they don’t enjoy the lack of flavour. Using peels from citrus fruits, apples, berries, and vegetables like cucumbers can add effortless flavour and really refresh your daily water intake.
Once you have done this, you can further upcycle any of this fruit, veg and herb waste by quickly blending it into a smoothie for a zero-waste nutrient boost!
We are very proud of our initiatives to reduce food waste and this has not changed with our team making conscious efforts at home. Making a change is everyone’s responsibility, and at Inspire, we have taken steps to do better in terms of waste management.
You can read more about why food waste really matters and we are doing to help here.