We throw away 7 million tonnes of food and drink from our homes every year, the majority of which could have been eaten. We think this seasonal celebration is the time to start making an effort to waste less and appreciate more.
Clean and Lean is all about being kind to yourself. We need to apply this to the way we think of environment too. It is very easy to forget the journey our food has been on before it has reached our plate. Thinking about the work, time and money involved in each item in our fridge, it might makes us reconsider the amount we throw into the bin.
Farmers all over the country work hard all year round to provide us with fresh fruit and vegetables. Before they’ve even reached the supermarkets, thousands of tons are rejected because of their shape and size because they fail “cosmetic standards”. This is hugely detrimental to our farmers. So much delicious produce is thrown away simply because it doesn’t ‘look good enough’.
The cost of throwing away wasted food is expensive and is harming ourenvironment. More fuel is needed to transport the waste and the vast amount of food that is going to landfill is contributing to global warming.
The sad thing is most of the food that is wasted in the UK(4.1 million tons or 61%) is avoidable and could have been eaten had it been better managed.
ChicP’s top tips on ‘How To Waste Less’:
- Sell by dates are merely a guide, food can be eaten days after. Do not throw away food because it is the ‘due’ date. Taste, smell and if it seems fine, it will be perfectly edible!
- When buying food, think about the week that lies ahead. Big weekly shops often means half the food ends in the bin. Buying daily or every other day is much more economical, environmental and often more beneficial for your health as the food is fresher.
My tips on what to do with food that is going off:
- I absolutely love making dips from meals that I have cooked the day before. If I don’t want the same roast vegetables and feta again, I’ll blend them into a creamy dip and eat with raw vegetable sticks and delicious healthy crackers.
- You can also whiz up a soup with all the leftovers.
- If you’re cooking chicken, I like to roast a whole chicken – it goes much further! Then make a stock from the bones for a soup the next day.
- I hardly ever go to the supermarket; I often buy from farmers markets in London – you can get large quantities of vegetables and fruit in bowls for £1.
- Baking is another great way to use up ingredients. Bananas, pears, carrots and other vegetables, as well as nuts, seeds, flours or oils you may be trying to get rid of can all be mixed together to create a healthy smoothie, breakfast bar, or sweet treat. Get creative.
- If you really don’t want to eat your mouldy avocados, mash them up with some coconut oil and make a face or hair mask.