Five ways to stop food waste at home

It’s no secret that the amount of food we waste is mind-blowing.

Becky Searles, Founder of Family Garden Life, says to simply take a look in your own bin at home to get an idea of just how much we throw out.

“Food waste contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, uses excess water, transport, packaging, the list really does go on and on,” she says. “Reducing food waste will have a huge impact on your overall household waste.”

Here are Becky’s top ways to avoid food wastage in your home. 

Grow your own / pick only what you need

"Not only are you growing nutrient dense, chemical free, fresh food that your whole family can enjoy, you will also significantly reduce your waste in fruit and vegetables,” Becky says.

The toughest thing about growing your own food is sowing that first seed, but once you get going, it will be hard to stop.

“Working towards self-sufficiency is an awesome way to grow what you need and pick what you need,” Becky explains.

The best part is you don’t need a full veggie patch, you can grow an array of herbs indoors, or in a pot on your balcony.

Use your offcuts in other meals

We throw away meat offcuts, peel and seeds without thinking about how we could put them to better use than just sitting in our bin. 

“There are many ways you can cook your discarded bits and turn them into amazing dishes fit for kings and queens,” Becky says. “Have you tried adding broccoli stems to a Bolognese sauce? Or did you know potato skins make the most delicious potato crisps? Stocks and stews are a great way to use up your tops and tails for carrots and onions and there are so many ways you can use citrus skin!”

Preserve / freeze your excess

Apart from buying less, you can also dry, bottle, or freeze your fruits, vegetables and herbs. This way, you’re not wasting anything and you have a range of ingredients on hand – even if it’s not in season to buy fresh.

If you’re preserving food from your own garden, Becky stresses that minimising your produce’s standing time between being picked and preserved is key to retaining the highest nutritional content.

“Preserving has a positive impact on sustainable living, by reducing packaging and waste,” she says. “It’s definitely an extension of your food garden and one that I strongly encourage everyone to try.”

Meal planning

No one likes sitting down on the weekend and planning your week in meals, but thinking about what you’re going to use each week can certainly help cut down on food wastage – and save a dollar or two.

“I always find it really useful to carefully check my fridge and cupboards when planning meals,” Becky tells. “Also check your food labels and use up items that are close to expiry. Think about these things first when you’re planning your meals so you can use up your existing food items and save money by purchasing less.”

Kitchen fermentation compost

Next time you think about tossing your food into landfill, consider a kitchen compost.

Not just resigned to veggie scraps, Becky suggests Bokashi, a ‘fast’ composting process that fits neatly underneath the kitchen sink.

“The way this composting system works is through a fermentation process that activates microbial activity to ferment organic waste,” she explains. “You can use this process for everything that worms don’t eat, such as acidic foods (citrus, onions, tomatoes etc.), recycling 100 per cent of your kitchen waste. All meat products, bread and dairy can also be put into a Bokashi.”

 

Keep waging the war on food waste by watching a special episode of Food Fighter on Lifestyle Saturday October 20 at 9.00am or watch it your way on Foxtel Go

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