If you’re looking to start 2023 more sustainably, keep reading this guest blog from Venner Nutrition. Below they’ll explain all the ways you can cut down your carbon footprint by reducing food waste.
In the UK we waste 4.5 million tonnes of edible food every year – that’s enough to fill 38 million wheelie bins. Food waste in the UK alone is on such a huge scale that it’s hard to imagine. Not only is this an environmental and sustainability crisis – considering the contribution of greenhouse gas emissions from food production – but as food prices continue to increase, food waste hits our finances hard too.
Thankfully, there are some easy and simple solutions each of us can do to start tackling food waste, so let’s get into them!
Planning your shop in advance helps to only buy the ingredients you will use. And, if you want your ingredients to last, make sure they’re at their best when you buy them. Meal-planning, before you head to the shops, is a great way to plan exactly what you need, to prevent buying ingredients that you’re less likely to use. Whilst shopping, check use-by dates and try to pick up products with the longest ones. Also, look at each item to check they’re fresh. With fruits and veggies, check that they’re not wilted, damp, discoloured or bruised.
Once you’ve got your ingredients at home, knowing how to store them will keep them fresher, for longer. And, pay attention over time, to use them before they go bad. Different ingredients benefit from different storage conditions e.g. room temperature or refrigerated, air-tight or ventilated. Often you can find out the optimal conditions from the packaging of the ingredients and/or a quick google search will help you! Also remember to keep an eye on your ingredients, for any sign that they’re starting to go past their best. Then you can use them before they go to waste.
be creative and love your leftovers
See leftover ingredients as an opportunity to get creative. Leftover ingredients and/or prepped meals are a common source of food waste. Take the challenge and make sure to use up ingredients before they’re headed for the bin. With individual ingredients, search for a recipe to include it in. With leftover meals, serve it up with e.g. a different side dish, or mix it up with other similar recipes to make it new and exciting.
the freezer is your best friend
Freezing food is a quick and easy way to limit food waste. Preparing too much food is a common cause of food waste, but many prepared meals can be frozen, which is a great way to prevent food waste, and super helpful for those busy days when you don’t have time to cook. Most ingredients can also be frozen, if you realise you aren’t going to use them within their best time. A quick google search will explain the best way to freeze each ingredient. More help and advice on fruit and vegetable ingredients, storage and recipes can be found in our guides and on our Kitchen platform on our website. Use the code VITA23 for one month of free access!
about venner nutrition
We’re Venner Nutrition, a team of nutritionists, recipe developers, social workers, teachers and social psychologists. We are passionate about promoting the message that healthy food belongs to everyone and creating equality within food in our societies. In partnership with individuals, businesses, councils, and charities we work with families in need to provide food relief and holistic nutrition education and a sustainable solution. Since 2018 we’ve delivered over 1 million meals.