This article is about eating food in a less wasteful way, but also forming good eating and shopping habits.
We waste a lot of food. The food we throw away, end up in a landfill somewhere, doing no good for anybody.
Waste food in landfill will naturally rot, which in turn, will give out methane – a greenhouse gas and will never leave the atmosphere, eventually contributing to global warming. Based on a study from US Department of Agriculture, in the US alone 150,000 tons of food are thrown away by households daily. 36 million tonnes of food wasted a year. Way more than the following European countries:
France – 7 Million Tons
Germany – 10 Million tons
Netherlands – 9 Million tons
United Kingdom – 14 million Tons
Wastage is wastage, doesn’t matter who has more or less waste. What is important is that all the aforementioned countries are making progress.
France’s government has taken measures to reduce food waste, by passing a bill, which forces supermarkets to donate food that is approaching their best by date to charity.
Germany is planning to package food in smaller quantities to reduce food waste. They are also investing in “intelligent packaging” with a red-yellow-green traffic light system as a technical indicator to consumers whether their food can still be edible. Julia Klöckner, Germany's minister for agriculture, food and consumer protection. Klöckner wants to halve the amount of food thrown away in the country by 2030.
UK’s big supermarkets signed a pledge to halve food waste by 2030
Several states across US are taking action to cut down food waste. California, Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island have passed laws to restrict food waste going to landfills. US Department of Agriculture and US Environmental Protection Agency have set a plan in 2015 to halve food waste by 2030.
General consensus: halve food waste by 2030.
Now we got all the serious s**t out of the way, lets go through the tips and tricks to combat food waste.
Tackle Food Waste
- Perform an audit of your fridge and pantry.
- Organize your pantry - put anything that needs to be eaten soon at the front, so that you won’t forget about it.
Planning your meals will save you time and pain from the decision fatigue of deciding what to eat on the day.
- Make enough food for a couple of nights
- Take any leftovers and be creative with it – turn it into nachos maybe?
Structure your week – designate a day for the same meal every week. Pizza on Sundays, Wednesday could be Chinese cuisine, etc.
Do a weekly check on what’s in your fridge and pantry before coming up with a shopping list. This will definitely help you save money from unintentionally buying more of the ingredients you already have…we’ve all been there.
When shopping, resist the temptation of many offers around you. Buy one get one free (BOGOF) and other multi buy offers could lead to more wastage. However, if you can freeze and have them at a later date – you can give in to your temptation.
- Buy fresh.
- Reduce your carbon footprint
- Food is fresh
- Know where your food is from and how it’s grown
- Help local businesses
- Benefits local wildlife – encourage biodiversity
Get Food in Bulk: Why, Where and How?
- To reduce reliance on plastic
- It’s cheaper
- Commodities are best bought in bulk – coffee, sugar, loose tea, flour (our personal opinion)
- In Asian super markets, Costco, wholesale places near you
- You can go to zero waste stores and pack food into your own containers, if you prefer that.
- Set up a local friends and family group on any social media platform to trade food with each other