On Sunday, I saw four trolley loads worth of bread products being dumped in a skip by a local supermarket. I asked people (on Facebook) why this bread could not perhaps be donated or given away and was told that although some is often donated locally, there are issues of food safety and issues of legality*.
Is it just me or is this a little nuts?
Seeing this certainly got me thinking- not just about the wider wastage of food by large companies, but closer to home- the food we waste in our households.
We all do it. We cook too much, forget to put it away (or perhaps we don't have anywhere to put it) and then we throw it out. Or we buy products on special (coz its cheap!) which we don't use;they go off and then we throw them out. In fact, I know there are food items in our fridge right now which will be going in the bin for tomorrow's rubbish collection. Stuff which we should have frozen but didn't; things which we should have made an effort to use.
So how do we combat this problem?
I have found two great websites which deal with this issue.
Sustainability.govt.nz has a great section on reducing your amount of food waste under 'Shopping'.
Love food hate waste is a website run by a non-profit organisation in the UK. They promote recycling, home composting and most of all, wasting less food.
Both sites have a great section on tips and some of these I have collated below:
- Plan your meals-- we keep meaning to try this.
- Use your leftovers
- Store your food properly
- Check 'Use by' and 'Best Before' dates (and both sites explain the difference between these)
After seeing all of this wastage, We are going to try to dramatically reduce the food waste in our household. Part of this, unfortunately, probably means reducing the amount of baking I do, which for me is quite a big thing. We will try the meal planning idea which has never worked for us, but perhaps we are missing something.
Does anyone have any great ideas on how they have or will reduce the amount of food waste in their household?
Any ideas are greatly appreciated!
*ie if someone got sick from eating old food, the supermarket would be liable. There's probably a lot more to this as well, but this is the information I was told.