Reducing Food Waste at Home

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Michael Foster
Date
May 14, 2024
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Our collective efforts can help minimize food waste by 50% by 2030. Start using these tips immediately to reduce food waste, save money, and protect the environment.

Plan your meals

It's important not to buy more food than necessary, as busy and unpredictable schedules can make it challenging to use it all before it goes bad. Bulk deals like 'buy-one-get-one-free' may lead to wasted food at home.

Store your food correctly

Apply the first-in-first-out principle to keep track of food in cupboards and fridge. Place fresh groceries behind items with closer expiry dates to make them more visible.
Keep leftovers on the top shelf and raw meat and fish on the bottom. Use a separate drawer for fruits and vegetables.

Know the difference of 'use by' and 'best before' dates

The 'use by' date on packaged food indicates when it is safe to eat. It is typically found on perishable items like meat, dairy, and meals. Buy only what you need to avoid waste.
'Best before' dates are more flexible than 'use by' dates. Foods like dried beans, lentils, and pasta can still be safely consumed after this date, although their quality may have decreased (e.g. changes in flavor, color, texture). It's generally safe to rely on our senses to detect the quality of foods with these labels.

Use what you have

Regularly check the fridge and cupboards for expired foods. Combine leftover vegetables into pasta, soup, omelet, or stir fry. Find recipes with few ingredients and freeze food before it expires. Frozen fruits can be used in smoothies.

Share extra food with others

If we have safe food we won't use, there are ways to share: ask friends or colleagues, donate to food banks, or invite neighbors for a meal.

Repurpose waste where possible

Before composting food scraps, consider repurposing them. Broccoli stems and florets can be cooked, cauliflower leaves can be baked, potatoes can be oven-baked, herbs can be frozen in cubes, roasted celery leaves can be used as seasoning, and other scraps can be used to make homemade stock.