Discarding food that could have been eaten is about more than just a waste of money; this unused food rots in landfills and produces methane gas, contributing to climate change. Waste is particularly inexcusable when you consider the amount of water that is used in agriculture and the process of food production.
And then, of course, wasting food in a world where many are starving is an ethical concern.
Here are eight easy ways to reduce food waste, starting in your kitchen:
Buy only as much as you need. Unless you know how you are going to store or preserve food, don’t buy what you cannot reasonably finish. Buying fresh more often is also better than shopping in bulk.
Store food correctly. Improper storage leads to spoilage and consequent wastage. Use food bought previously before making fresh purchases.
Keep your fridge well organised. An overfilled fridge can be a contributor to food waste. Organise your fridge so you can see what needs to be used first. Follow the FIFO (First In, First Out) mantra.
Use leftovers smartly. Store them in clear containers so you can see what has to be finished first.
Use your freezer. If you know while cooking that there will be more food than you can eat in a day, consider freezing portions as soon as the food cools. Mark all packages clearly with the date and contents.
Use everything. If you would like to use the skin, rind and seeds of many fruits and vegetables, there’s plenty of advice on the internet.
Avoid food expiry. Knowing what you have in your food cupboard is essential to avoid allowing food to expire.
Compost. Reuse food scraps by composting them; there are now many home composting kits available that make this pain free.