In the Western world we all waste far too much food, and HelloFresh founder Patrick Drake wants us to prevent food waste at home. Here are his six tips for reducing food waste and helping the environment.
1. Buy Only What You Need
It can be hard to buy small amounts of something in a supermarket, so look for grocer’s shops or market stalls where you can buy single carrots, potatoes, onions and other fruit and veggies. This one step alone stops a lot of waste from fruit and vegetables being thrown away because they’ve gone bad before they can be used up.
2. Freeze Excess Food
Buying in bulk can be a lot cheaper, but there’s a danger that you won’t use everything before it goes bad. Buy freezable ingredients such as meat, and put any excess in freezer bags, label and freeze until you need it.
Bread is also easily frozen, and you can toast it straight from the freezer too. Even spinach and overripe bananas or other soft fruit can be frozen then used as smoothie ingredients.
3. Organize Your Fridge
An unorganised fridge can lead to things being forgotten or hidden behind other foods until they have gone off. The best way to arrange your fridge and your food cupboards is by moving the older items to the front and putting the newer ones to the back. This way you’ll see the ones that need using up quickly first.
4. Store Food Properly
To store meat, dairy and cooked foods in the fridge, wrap them tightly in clingfilm or in an airtight plastic box. Any half-eaten tins of food should be emptied into a bowl and wrapped.
For dry foods like pasta, flour, spices and nuts, get yourself a bunch of glass jars with rubber seals and clip lids. They keep things fresher for longer, but don’t forget to label the jars!
5. Make Frittatas
Make the most of your leftovers by revamping them into a frittata, Spanish omelette or bubble and squeak. For a frittata, take the leftover cooked veg and meat, mix it with some beaten eggs and fry it on both sides in your frying pan. Serve with that half-bag of salad you have in your fridge that you weren’t sure how to use up.
6. Portion Sizing
If you frequently find yourself throwing away leftovers, you’re probably making too much food to start with. Look at what you’re binning, and you’ll soon get a sense of how to adjust your portions to a point where there’s no leftovers.
If there are leftovers that you can turn into a lunch or dinner next day, however, then that’s a win.
Doing your bit to prevent food waste feels good, and there’s a lot more information out there on composting, pickling, food storage and growing your own veggies if you want to learn more.