In April I watched the TV series Back in Time for Dinner on BBC2 and was amazed to see how little food and the lack of choice people had in the 1950s. I felt lucky to come from a generation where food is plentiful, affordable and available in such a wide variety that makes eating exciting. This may be great but I think it has stopped us seeing food as precious and so we don’t think twice about wasting it. I was inspired to write this blog after reading an article “use your loaf and save billions” by the charity, Waste Resources and Action programme (WRAP). The charity was established in 2000 to help recycling take off in the UK. In more recent years its focus has been on reducing food waste.
According to WRAP the UK households throws away more than 4.2 million tonnes of food that could have been eaten. If that’s not bad enough, most of the food wasted ends up in landfill sites, releasing the nasty greenhouse gas methane. Apparently methane is worse than carbon dioxide causing climate change. This is something that I didn’t know.
I am passionate about preserving our natural environment and in recent years I have become more conscious about wasting food. I feel that it’s important that I do my bit in preventing it. I therefore would like to share with you some examples of how I have managed to cut down on food waste.
- Smarter use of my freezer has helped me to stop wasting certain foods. Here’s some examples;
- Bread – I normally slice my loaf on the same day of purchase and store it in the freezer. Over the week I defrost and use what I need for making sandwiches or toast. I find that the bread remains fresh and moist just like on the day of purchase.
- Fresh garlic, ginger and herbs – I chop the herbs, mince the garlic and ginger separately. It’s best to pack these in sandwich bags to maintain the freshness. I also pat the garlic and ginger flat inside the bags so that it’s easier to break off chunks once frozen. I then use as when required for cooking.
- Leftovers – I freeze these if I am not sure when I will use them up as will keep longer than if left in the fridge. There have been days when I have been thankful for my frozen leftovers as they saved me from cooking!
- Apparently bananas are one of the most frequently wasted food in the UK. I must admit that I did contribute to this as I used to throw away my bananas when over ripe and the skin had turned black. I just didn’t like the texture and found them too sweet but I discovered that they are great for making delicious and healthy smoothies (I talked about this on one of my previous blog). The sweetness of the bananas means no sugar or honey is necessary.
Try this simple recipe with your over-ripe bananas. It's really filling!
500g of natural bio yoghurt
A handful of blueberries
Put everything in a large plastic jug and blend using a hand held food mixer. This recipe is enough to fill 3-4 tall glasses.
- Another most frequently wasted food is eggs. I used to take the “Best Before” date literally but now I use the date just as a guide. You know what? I have used eggs a week after the suggested date and survived to tell the tale! So just a bit of common sense has prevented me from throwing away perfectly good food!
For more information on how to tackle food waste visit the website Love Food Hate Waste by WRAP.Last modified on