How many times have we used or heard these words over the years? With Zero Waste Week upon us again and the focus being on food waste it seemed appropriate to talk about reducing food waste.
It’s not a new topic for us, we’ve been working on this area for years. Our children are now teenagers and 9 year olds and there can still be a lot of waste but I look at it from two perspectives. There is waste and there is waste around the waistline gained from parents sweeping up the kids leftovers. This is not good. Unless of course you refrain from eating a nicely presented meal yourselves and only eat leftovers! Hardly pleasurable eating.
The best way to reduce waste
Is to not pile the plates up in the first place with the attitude you can always go back for more if you’re still hungry. We often eat buffet style meals with salads and vegetables placed in serving dishes with everyone taking what they need rather than my deciding what they think they need. We encourage the children to only take small portions and go back for more when they’ve finished and still hungry. Eyes too big for the belly can happen but generally we are not ones for over piling resulting in less waste on the plates when the meal is over.
The other way we tackle waste is by planning in advance. Having meal plans means that when I do the grocery shopping I buy what is needed with only extras as treats.
I also check the reductions shelf at our local Coop and I buy heaps of near sell by date items saving lots of money and ensuring that those items haven’t gone to waste.
Checking the fridge to see what stray items are left behind helps use them up. If an item needs to be used up then we can plan the meals that day to include it. Likewise leftovers from dinner will be eaten cold for lunch the following day.
Fruit that may have gone too soft will go into the Nutribullet for juice and smoothies. Vegetable peelings used to make stock but admittedly I haven’t done that in a long while. Likewise there is a lot of wasted leaves that something could be done with rather than being left to rot in the allotment patch.
One area that we do waste on is my indulgence in trying new recipes and foods in an attempt to widen our horizons and make more changes towards a wholefood plant based diet. They don’t always go down well and end up in the bin.
Ultimately, we just don’t buy too much in the first place. We love food but we are not excessive food consumers.