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Ways we can Love Food, Hate waste

 I was shocked to read that we in the UK throw away 4.2 million tonnes of good food every year.  The average family could save up to £700 a year by throwing away less food.

EVERY DAY in UK Homes we thrown away the equivalent to, approximately

·        5.8 million potatoes

·        1.4 million bananas

·        1.5 million tomatoes

·        24 million slices of bread *(judging by my house I thought this may be more)

·        1.5 million sausages

·        1.9 million slices of ham

·        1.1 million eggs

(this is equivalent too – as we are not throwing away exactly that amount of eg potatoes but the weight of all the avoidable potato waste thrown away is the equivalent of this amount.)

It Pays to Plan

To avoid waste and actually to get the best out of your time we really do need to spend a short while planning our menu for the week.  Due to my health and my husbands work we have to keep our planning rather flexible but if we know what we are going to be cooking then we tend to do it – otherwise the food sits in the fridge unused and we either end up with something on toast or frequenting a local fast food outlet.

Totz2teens has been talking about planning meals for a very long time.  We produced our own printable planners so that your days, weeks or even months can be planned ahead.

Of course it makes sense.  If I buy a large amount of mince for example I can divide it into the amounts I need for each day, freezing extra for the next time.

By planning a meal you know quickly what to get out of the freezer without pondering.

Planning is key for a healthy diet plan too.  Making sure you have enough to keep you going and not dipping into things that you shouldn’t.  It is amazing what can feel tempting when there isn’t an alternative --- glace cherries, lemon curd, chocolate spread to name but a few!!

Storage

I love my freezers.  I have a nice storage of meals available.  Usually individually portioned as they are leftovers from previous meals.  They heat up just fine and its very handy when making meals that not everyone likes. 

If your potatoes are starting to look a little less lush then get them boiling and mash them up.  Store in freezer ready for another day.  Bingo.

My fridge houses my vegetables as they stay fresher for longer.  

I check my planner and I can get my  food from the freezer the night before and defrost in the fridge at the bottom. 

Bing, Bang, Bosh – dinner is served.

DatesPhoto

Don’t forget to keep an eye out on the dates of products in your fridge though.  If you have planned successfully then hopefully this shouldn’t happen but sometimes the dates on foods are not always as long as you hope.   This can cause for a change on your planner.  Moving some meals around to ensure your food is being eaten rather than thrown.

Do you know what a Use By Date really means?  Don’t worry only 36% of us do. 

A best before date – is just there for quality.  You are safe to eat them after the date it just means they may not be at their best.

Use by dates are for safety.  You can eat right up to the date or freezer for another time but do not eat it past the date. 

Ignore Sell by and display until dates.  – these are just simply for the shops and are very safe to ignore.

Clever Portions

We have all cooked too much rice and pasta haven’t we.  Its ok – can use it for lunch so that’s useful, However how often does this not happen?

Did you know that an average size mug is great for measuring uncooked rice.  One adult portion is about a quarter of the mug. 

Use your scales.  Getting portions right will help your waistline and your budget.

Leftovers

Since my local council created a food waste container that goes out each week I am fully aware of the food I dispose of.  More often or not it is bread.  I have therefore started making a conscious effort to collect the crusts and bits that don’t appear to be used and I am saving them.  My favourite way of keeping them is to make them into breadcrumbs.  This allows me to store the bag in the freezer for a time when we need them for a recipe.  

Please take a look at my recipe for Beef and Cheese Crumble using these breadcrumbs and any leftover vegetables your family eat.

Today I looked in my fridge and cupboards and saw that I had some not so fresh broccoli to be used.  We have rabbits that adore their veg but they are clearly not going to eat this amount before it needs to go so I made broccoli and cheese soup for lunch.  Divine.  I first heard of this recipe when I was trying to lose weight (I know, I have put it on again) I used this as a very filling staple for my lunch menu.

Remember lots of foods are wasted in relatively small amounts but together they have a huge impact, financially and environmentally too.

 

 

Love food hate waste aims to raise awareness of the need to reduce food waste and help us take action.  It shows that by doing some easy practical everyday things in the home we can all waste less food, which will ultimately benefit our purses and the environment too. 

Discover more at www.lovefoodhatewaste.com

 

 

 

 

 

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