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4 simple tips to reduce food waste

reduce food waste - fresh food at a market
Photo by ja ma on Unsplash

food, glorious food; food, marvelous food.

food is a human right, a necessity of life and brings joy to our mundane lives, don’t you think? food we eat nourishes us, strengthens us and also defines us! What we eat, how we eat and when we eat all vary depending on our culture and upbringing. for me, as an Indian, I live to eat! 😂 eating a 4 course home cooked indian meal fills my belly and my heart. ❤ i am sure you feel the same way about the food you grew up with or have fond associations with. it is soul nourishing.

so, here’s the conundrum? if it’s so important, why do we waste it?

households waste 4.5m tonnes of food a year that could have been eaten, worth £14bn. This amounts to £700 for an average family with children. 

The guardian

where is the food waste coming from?

there is obviously food waste that comes from supermarkets, restaurants, catering companies and such, but interesting, the largest percentage – 70% comes from households like yours and mine.

so what are we wasting? right from salad to fruits & vegetables and bread, we throw away perfectly edible food because we don’t store them correctly or we have misconceptions about when the food is considered inedible.

according to a market survey, some of the main reasons people throw food away are:

📜 Shopping lists – 74% of people didn’t write a shopping list when they went shopping. impulse buying or shopping when you are hungry makes you buy things you don’t need.

📅 planning your meals – 35% didn’t plan their meals. this means you buy things in the hope you are going to cook it but don’t actually do.

🏠 checking the fridge – 24% didn’t know what was in the fridge before they went to the supermarket. this means you end up doubling up on supplies.

Those 4.5 million tonnes are enough to fill 38 million wheelie bins, or 90 Royal Albert Halls. It’s a lot, but we have the power to change this.

eco friendly lifestyle and food waste

food waste, as you might know, has a big impact on the environment. according to a 2018 report from; total food waste in the UK is estimated at 25 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. 70% of this is attributed to households!!

as per another report from the guardian and based on statistics from toast ale– if the uk stopped wasting uneaten bread, the amount of co2 equivalent saved each year would be equal to more than half a million return flights from london to new york.

peeling back the layers, we can see that When we waste food, we also waste water. A significant amount of water is required to grow and produce food. see this well written article on this topic –

If global food waste were a country, it would be third largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China and the US.


what can I do to reduce food waste?

4 main things that you can do very easily to reduce waste

1. plan your meals

step 1: figure out how often you need to go shopping. once a week or twice a week? for us as a family of 4, we go shopping once a week on a Wednesday.

step 2: plan your cooking for the same day as your shopping day if possible or the next day. cooking when it’s still fresh will lock in the nutrients.

2. shopping list

Step 1: always make sure you write a shopping list. your meal planning will obviously help you to figure out what you need

step 2: take your shopping list with you when you go shopping. maybe have a shopping list app that everyone in the family can contribute to.

step 3: stick to the list when you shop.

3. cook & freeze

step 1: cook in large quantities. the quantity will depend on the size of your freezer, your grocery budget and the size of your family. But it’s definitely cheaper to cook in larger quantities.

step 2: measure out how much you need for each meal and freeze as portions.

step 3: unfreeze portions as you need them.

4. storing your food

Last but not the least, any food that doesn’t get used – wrap it up and store it. you can freeze some foods and some can be stored only in the fridge. when you wrap your food, use beeswax wraps to keep your food fresh for longer.

excellent External resources

there is so much help out there to help you reduce your waste. I have listed some of the very useful ones. is a great website full of ideas and recipes to help you reduce your waste and be kind to the planet. check out their amazing recipes.

change4life smart recipes – meal planning app which helps you plan your meals, find new recipes if you are stuck for ideas, cooking instructions and form your shopping list. apparently the shopping list also gives you information on which aisle you will find your items. magic!

OLIO – the food sharing app is a great way to share food if you know you are not going to use it definitely.

food banks – local food banks will always accept food that within it’s use by date and some foodbanks will also take fresh produce.

let me know if this has been helpful and if you have implemented any of the suggestions above.

share this and spread the word

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  1. Pingback:green friday tips - save water for an eco friendly life - isifiso.

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