Food, glorious food!

I love food - almost as much as a love recycling! That is why I hate seeing food go to waste. In a report published by WRAP, on average, the UK wastes 4.5 million tonnes of food, every year. That is a HUGE amount of food and if it didn’t go to waste, it could be used to make up to 10 billion meals.

How do I reduce my food waste?

Being savvy with food doesn’t have to be boring or time consuming. You don’t have to spend hours planning meals and pre-preparing food. There are simple steps you can make and tips and tricks to follow which will help you make it a part of your lifestyle. Keep reading to hear all about my ideas and find links to lots of other useful information.  

Make a shopping list and meal plan

Over-buying food can mean it often is not needed and therefore, goes to waste. Before you go shopping, make a shopping list and a meal plan to help you buy only what you need until your next shopping trip. If you do have food leftover, don’t throw it away – use it up! My friends at Love Food Hate Waste have handy tool on their website that will help you find the perfect recipe for your leftover groceries. Don’t forget, if you make a batch of food or simply make too much, you can split the leftovers into individual portions to freeze too!

Use the freezer

When food is put in the freezer, it gets preserved and therefore lasts longer. Freezing foods means you can defrost and use what you need, when you need it. You can freeze foods on the day you buy them or later on if you don’t think you will get the chance to use them up. If you are not sure whether something can be frozen, check the Love Food Hate Waste website to find an A-Z list on food storage.

‘Use by’ and ‘Best Before’ dates – what is the difference?

There is a common misconception about what the difference is between ‘use by’ and ‘best before’ dates. ‘Use by’ dates refer to safety of the item and what date the food is safe to be eaten until. After the ‘use by’ date, there is a chance that harmful bacteria can spoil food and make it unsafe to eat. You can freeze food up until and including on the ‘use by’ date, so if you haven’t used it in time, pop it in the freezer! ‘Best before’ dates are all about the quality of the food. After the ‘best before’ date, the food is still safe to eat, it just might not be at its best.

What do I do with my food waste?

In East Cambridgeshire, food waste can be disposed of in your green lidded bin. Every two weeks, East Cambs Street Scene will collect your bin and take it to a composting plant where it will be made into soil improver! If you’re not sure what can be collected in your green lidded bin, visit the East Cambs website for a full list. Don’t worry if you don’t have a green lidded bin, you can try home composting. Recycle Now have a handy page on their website all about composting with information and steps from setting up the bin to using your compost.

We can all do our bit to reduce our food waste and little steps can go a long way. Don’t forget to spread the word about reducing food waste and recycling and follow me on Twitter for more great ways on how you can become a recycling hero!