This week on GROW COOK EAT we visited Kellys Hotel & Resort in Rosslare. They are leaders in the food waste movement in Ireland and have got us thinking. If we could all make a few small changes in our food waste patterns, imagine the difference we could make!
Our partners StopFoodWaste.ie have so much information regarding this but we took it upon ourselves to research and find some quick and simple ways that all of you can reduce your food waste.
This is what we came up with. To begin, you can start with your shopping habits – the next time that you go to the supermarket, be conscious, and look out for these few things:
Make a list before you go shopping and stick to it, plan your meals and how much you will need and don’t stray from it. This is fundamental when trying to reduce food waste. Also, when you are actually in the store, pick up your fresh produce last (a handy but useful tip from Ann Marie in the EPA)
Don’t forget to eat before you go
This one is easier said than done! But if you eat before you do your shopping you rare likely not to over-buy (something that we are all capable of!).
Try to buy loose fruit and veg.
Store Food Correctly
If you regularly throw away stale chips/cereal/crackers/etc., try storing them in airtight containers— this should help them keep longer (or, of course, just buy fewer of these products). If you’ve bought things like chicken breasts in bulk, put whatever you’re not likely to eat straight into the freezer to use later.
Produce doesn’t have to be tossed just because it’s reaching the end of its peak. Soft fruit can be used in smoothies; wilting vegetables can be used in soups, etc. And both wilting fruits and veggies can be turned into delicious, nutritious juices, chutneys & Jams – you can find recipes for some here.
You can see our video on how to compost here. By composting at home, you reduce the need to collect, process, treat and/or dispose of biodegradable materials. This saves landfill space and the fuel needed to move things around.
Get creative in the kitchen
With the leftover food you do have at the end of the week, get creative! There are sure to be lots of recipes to use it up. You will find lots of recipes on our website or message us for some help!
Practice first in first out “FIFO”
When unpacking groceries, move older products to the front of the fridge/freezer/pantry and put new products in the back. This way, you’re more likely to use up the older stuff before it expires.
Keep a diary
You can download a food diary here. Keeping a diary can highlights where you are most wasteful and you can see ways in which you may be able to reduce waste in the future.
Pack them for work or school for a free packed lunch. If you don’t want to eat leftovers the day after they’re cooked, freeze and save them for later.
Growing your own food
Growing greens prevents food waste, saves money and is an excellent way to get a taste for GIY (Grow it Yourself). We recommend starting with lettuces and herbs – two of the most commonly wasted food that are also some of the easiest to grow!
The ‘Stop Food Waste Challenge”
Stop Food Waste are challenging Irish householders to set themselves a target to reduce their food waste by at least 1/4. By doing this you may be able to save your household as much as €60 a month - that will help with some of the bills!
They have developed this booklet to help groups of house holders take the Stop Food Waste Challenge - a tasty road to less food waste and more cash in your pocket. The challenge involves 4 one hour meetings over a 6 to 8 week period and will cover the following:
your shopping list
hard earned money on food that you don’t really need
generate and the many methods of home composting
To find more information on stopping food waste you can visit our sponsors website Stop Food Waste