Admittedly, it’s not a particularly sexy or exciting topic (unless of course, you start singing the title of this post to the tune of the aptly named, Salt’n’Pepa classic 90's tune, Let’s talk about sex, but I digress!), but it’s an important topic we HAVE talk about. Collectively, we waste approximately 4,000,000 tonnes of food each year in Australia. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “That’s a really big number and how can I possibly know what that looks like in an average year for me?” So, let’s break it down real quick – by averaging that number out across the population it becomes equivalent to throwing out 1 in every 5 bags of groceries you purchase every week or ordering 3 plates of food even though you’re only going to eat one every-time you eat out, and that’s just not cool.
What IS cool, is that you don’t have to do much to make a big difference and we’ve got some handy tips below to help you help reduce food waste and waste associated with the production and purchase of food.
#1 Plan out your weekly meals and create recipes/dishes with common, in season ingredients before your grocery shop for the week.
#2 Take reusable bags with you when you go grocery shopping. Keep them in your car or hang them somewhere visible at home so you always have them on hand or don’t forget them on your way out.
#3 Buy the “ugly” produce – it’s cheaper, tastes the same and helps to break down the idea that all fruits and vegetables should fit certain aesthetics parameters to make it onto the supermarket shelf!
#4 Some fruit and veg are best stored at room temperature, some in a cool, dark place and some in the refrigerator. Storing fruit and veg correctly means fresher, longer lasting produce. Check out this handy list for information.
#5 Embrace the over-ripe fruit and veg! Whether it’s making a killer guac with some avocados, or cooking up some apples low and slow for a tasty yoghurt or porridge topping (or to freeze for smoothies!), you can always find creative and simple solutions for using up those extra fruits and veg! Our favourite is whipping up a moreish banana bread that keeps great in the fridge for a week and is the perfect snack to have in the freezer for the kid’s lunch boxes or when friends pop over for tea! Check out our go-to healthy banana bread recipe by The Healthy Chef here
#6 Love your takeaway coffee, juice, smoothie? Ditch the single-use cup and buy a reusable cup. Keep it with you or keep it at work and take it with you when you buy your regular takeaway beverage of choice, it’s a great way to reduce plastic waste, and some cafés and restaurants will even give you a discount if you use your own cup!
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#7 Eating out? Try to order smaller portions or ask the wait staff for advice about portion size, sometimes our eyes are bigger than our stomachs, particularly when we eat somewhere we’ve never been before and by ordering consciously, the environment and your wallet will thank you!
#8 Try tapas style restaurants or options and share meals when you eat out.
#9 Ask if you can take left-overs home – there’s NO shame in getting left-overs to go from a restaurant and eating them for lunch the next day!
#10 Choose to eat at and support waste conscious restaurants – check out some recommendations for Sydney here and Melbourne here. Our good friends at Ywaste have just launched a new app (available on iTunes and Android devices) that helps food outlets at a retail level sell unsold food to you at discounted prices that otherwise would normally end up as waste – check them out
#11 Support Ufoodi ;D - Crowdfunding Campaign launching on Pozible soon! Book and order what you want, when and where you want to eat and help reduce food waste. Share your personally curated experience with friends’ family and the community through the Ufoodi Platform!
Give a few tips a try and know that you’re doing a good thing now and a great thing for the future! Plus, if you have any other tips to try or you want to share the love for a business that we should all be made aware of that is making a positive contribution to waste production - let us know! Together we’ve created a problem, and together we can fix it!