Internationally, there is an estimated 50 per cent level of food waste that occurs between the time when it leaves the field and when it gets to your fork- according to studies cited by a National Food Waste Assessment.
Here in Australia, the same assessment found that Australians were spending approximately $5.2 billion annually on food that is eventually thrown out. This problem is a big one, and one that is being seen throughout the world.
Whether it’s food that goes off or expires before being eaten, leftovers that go to the trash, or the remains of a meal that doesn’t get eaten, Aussies are throwing food out by the truck-load.
Here are a few ways you can cut down on your food waste.
It’s hard to know how long leftovers will last in the fridge before you need to throw them out. Add a ‘eat by’ date to all your leftover meals to encourage use before it’s too late.
If you’re finding that you throw out leftover food after certain meals, cut down on the portion sizes. Rice is one of the big culprits here, where it’s easy to cook too much in the first place. Pay attention to how much you end up putting in the bin, then simply use less next time.
Fresh produce storage
A lot of what goes in the bin is fresh fruit and vegetables. Only buy for one week at a time, then look up the best way to store each type. For examples, some fruits may last longer in perforated bags, while vegetables may do best in the fridge drawer.
Shop with a list
Heading to the supermarket without a list will often see you leaving with things you don’t really need. Start with a list and stick to it to avoid buying items that will get thrown out later.
Get creative with cooking
A stir fry or omelette is a great way to use up just about everything in your vegetable drawer. As well as ‘anything goes’ meals, consider baking to use up overripe bananas and other fruits.