Reducing food waste
Before starting to compost any food waste, look at ways of reducing the amount of food that is wasted. We currently throw away one in three bags of food waste a week! This is insane. At the time of writing this Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has just started his ‘War on Waste’. Looking at waste from producers, often caused by supermarkets obsession with visual appearance and fear of undersupply, consumers needlessly wasting and high street outlets throwing away unsold cooked food. Much of this wastage could be avoided.
Once you start composting absolutely everything that can be composted, including all food waste then it really makes you think about cutting down this wastage in the first place. If you have too much of something why not process it in some way so it will keep longer? This way you can take advantage of gluts or offers in shops or markets. Cooking and freezing it is probably the easiest way, but there are many ideas on the Love Food Hate Waste wesbite, which also gives lots of tips, including about the difference between, best before, sell by and use by dates on the packaging.
- Use your senses, especially your eyes and nose to check whether the food is still edible.
- Plan your shopping! This is probably the biggest reason for food wastage. Most people tend to go to, particularly, supermarkets and get seduced by the vast array of brands and BOGOF (buy one get one free) offers. Why not try a change, use your local shops, find out what is in season, plan your meals, use a shopping list and have a budget.
- The inspirational Jack Monroe has campaigned for cooking on a budget and reducing food waste and has some great recipes and tips.
- Do you really need to peel your vegetables? The only reason to peel carrots. Non organic carrots are notorious for their chemical inputs – far better is to buy organic food and know you are not eating all those pesticide residues. Potato skins are delicious and full of vitamins, in fact most of the goodness in root vegetables is concentrated in the skin so use the peeler sparingly.