Your November Recycling Challenge: Make Your Food Go Further in Lockdown
According to Love Food Hate Waste, we wasted a third less food in lockdown. People made better use of leftovers, bought only what they needed, and cooked and baked a lot more at home.
This is not just good news for our pockets, throwing away less food waste helps the environment too.
Now that a second lockdown has been announced, we need to keep up the good work. Your November recycling challenge is to make your food go further this month. Here’s how.
Use your freezer more
You can probably freeze more foods than you think. You can freeze meat, milk, fruit, eggs, bread, and more as long as you need to (as long as you freeze and defrost them safely, or course). When you’re cooking, save time and make your food go further by making extra portions then freezing them for a quick and easy meal at a later date.
Start stock rotating your cupboards
Organise your cupboards so that the tins and other items that have the soonest use-by dates are at the front so they’re used first. This will help you reduce waste and only buy what you need when you venture to the supermarket.
Check what you already have in the house
Making a list of what you already have in the fridge, freezer, and cupboards will help you avoid buying things you don’t need when you hit the shops. You’ll also end up throwing less away and the food you already have will go further.
Plan your meals
Once you know what you’ve already got, you can plan some meals and make a list of just the extras you need. Plan to make some family favourites in bulk and freeze the extra portions.
Know the difference between ‘best before’ and ‘use by’
You don’t necessarily need to throw something away because it’s past its best before date. Most food will likely be safe to eat after the best before date (though do check for signs of mould or other spoilage) but the use by date means you definitely have to consume a product before that date or it could make you ill. When you’re in the supermarket, try and look for longer sell-by dates, and plan your meals so you’ll know whether you’ll be able to eat it in time.
Store your food properly
A lot of food waste can be avoided if you store items correctly. Here are some great tips on how to store meat, fresh produce, and more to help your food go further during lockdown.
Watch your portions
It’s really easy to cook too much of some foods like pasta and rice. To avoid creating excess waste that just ends up in the bin, get in the habit of weighing food before you cook it, and stick to suggested serving sizes.
Use leftover veg and scraps to make a soup
Rather than binning any leftover veg or vegetable scraps, why not use them to make a tasty warming soup? It’s healthy, budget-friendly comfort food and it reduces the amount of food you throw away-what’s not to love?
Start a compost heap or pile
You can put a lot on a compost heap, from vegetable scraps to coffee grounds. Composting reduces the amount of food waste that’s sent to landfill, and it gives you some natural nutrient-rich fertiliser for you garden (or house plants if you don’t have an outside space).
There it is, your November recycling challenge. Make this the month you save money and save the planet by reducing your food waste.