7 tips to reduce your food waste

Around 88 million tonnes of food is wasted in the EU every year, but we can all take action by changing the way we shop, cook, and plan our meals to avoid wasting food, money, and resources.1

Only buy what you need
Understand ‘use by’ vs ‘best before’ dates
Use what you have
Avoid serving too much
Know your moulds
Share extra food with others
Repurpose waste where possible
7 tips to reduce your food waste

1. Only buy what you need
It’s only a bargain if we can use the food in time! ‘Buy-one-get-one-free’ and other bulk deals lead to buying more than we need, shifting the waste from the store to our home. In food waste terms, it’s wise not to buy more than needed.

Simple ‘grandma’s’ tricks can help us stay focused when shopping for food include.

Prepare a meal plan for the week.
Use a shopping list, noting the amounts required.
Factor in potential eating out occasions.

2. Understand ‘use by’ vs ‘best before’ dates
The ‘use by’ date on packaged food tell us when it is still safe to eat the product. The use-by date is usually found on perishable foods such as chilled meat, dairy, and ready-made meals. To avoid wasting food these should be purchased when, and in the amount, necessary. It’s best not to stock up.

‘Best before’ dates are more flexible than use by date. After this date, foods such as dried beans, lentils, and pasta, can be consumed safely, although their quality may have decreased (for example, changes in flavour, colour, texture). Trusting our senses should be sufficient to detect the quality of foods with these labels.

3. Use what you have
Not-wasting is not that complicated!

Check what’s in the fridge and cupboards regularly and use up foods nearing their expiry dates.
Rotate food stores when fresh groceries arrive, so that those with nearer expiry dates are closer and visible.
Combine any vegetables left into a ‘clean-out-the-fridge’ pot of pasta, soup, omelette, or stir fry. We get to enjoy a new recipe and avoid throwing out good food.
Freeze food before its date. Frozen fruits can make a nice addition to smoothies!

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