How to shrink your food waste footprint

No one would go shopping, get home and immediately throw away a whole load of the food they just bought. Yet collectively, that’s just what we’re doing. In the UK, we throw away more than 7 million tonnes of food and drink every year, most of which is still fine to eat.

Producing the food that we throw away generates the same amount of carbon emissions as ¼ of cars on the road. In fact, if global food waste were a country, it would have the third biggest carbon footprint in the world.

This means reducing individual food waste is an important way you can take action on climate change.

Here are our top five tips for cutting food waste.

Photo: Rawpixel

Photo: Rawpixel

1. Plan your meals in advance. It sounds boring, but knowing what you need before you go to the shops helps you avoid buying what won’t be used. Simple.

2. Eat the whole potato. There’s no need to peel a lot of fruit and veg. Skins aren’t just edible, they’re often packed with nutrients. Leaves (like those from cauliflowers and broccoli) are also thrown out unnecessarily when instead they could be roasted, curried, or blended into a soup.

Photo: Jose Soranio

Photo: Jose Soranio

3. Blend. Smoothies are pretty trendy amongst health enthusiasts, but they’re also a great way to cut food waste. Why? The blender accepts what’s not pretty. That means you can make use of your bruised apples, squashed pears, brown bananas, and even soggy spinach!

4. Make full use of your freezer. You can freeze a huge range of foods that would otherwise not keep long, including dairy, fruit and veggies, bread and even biscuits. Your leftovers can be portioned up into handy ready meals for days when you’re too busy to cook.

5. Be a realist. If you keep throwing away unopened packets of foods that you feel you should eat, but don’t really like, it’s time to adjust your shopping list. Alternatively, you could try out some recipes that make it taste totally different. To get you started, here’s how to make kale into crisps.

Cover photo by Elevate