December 14, 2021
We throw away one-third of all the food produced for humans. According to these stats from 2019, 61% of the whole 931 million (!!) tonnes of food waste was generated in households. Rich or poor, it doesn’t matter — according to this year’s UNEP Food Waste Index Report, the levels of food waste are similar in all European countries.
You wouldn’t immediately throw away one of your three bags after your weekly supermarket visit or grocery delivery, would you? Sadly, that’s exactly what is happening right now.
When we don’t consume reasonably and end up wasting food, we’re actually wasting all the resources that go into producing and transporting the food too.
Take a can of tomatoes for example.
When throwing away a can of tomatoes, it’s more than food that’s finding its way into the bin. Wasting food means wasting all of the resources that go into producing and transporting it — land, time, water, and fuel. Additionally, the food that ends up in landfills also contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.
The numbers are eye-opening. In the EU, around 88 million tonnes of food waste is generated each year. That translates to 174 kg of food waste per person and is associated with 143 billion euros in costs.
The further along the supply chain the food loss occurs, the bigger the impact. The more resources that go into production — processing, transport, retail, and packaging (in addition to the aforementioned land, fuel, water, and time spent on farming) — the bigger the loss.
We as consumers have a direct impact on the food waste problem. The fix? Paying more attention to our own behaviour. Here are a few tips.
Saving food at home starts with two things — educating yourself and a mindset change. Let’s start with the latter.
Instead of random supermarket visits or grocery deliveries from Bolt Market, know what and why you’re buying. Plan ahead and create a meal plan for yourself or your family.
After you’ve thought about what to cook, check your fridge and pantry — is there anything you can use? Determine how much food you’ll need from the store and generate a list. Sticking to the list is a good way to practice restraint — good luck!
All of this may be daunting at first but you’ll get the hang of it after a few hits and misses.
Now, onto the learning bit.
A lot of food is wasted just because people don’t know the difference between expiry and best before date. When talking about expiration dates, we talk about the “use by” dates. “Best before” refers to the date after which the quality of the food may have changed but doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s gone bad.
Does it mean you can’t eat the food after the clock strikes? It’s definitely best to consume packaged food before the date on the package but don’t forget to use your best judgment when choosing between throwing the food away and making a meal from it.
One of the easiest ways we waste food is when we make too much, store the leftovers for the next day and then forget them in the flurry of life. This brings us back to being mindful.
Here are three things you can do with the leftovers of your fabulous home-cooked meal:
Making sure we eat all of the food we prepare is an important way to reduce waste, conserve resources, and save money. So, the next time you have leftovers, show them some love. With these easy-to-follow recipes, for example! All perfect for a nice Christmas dinner.
Anytime you find yourself with leftover chicken, you can consider it as a blessing. Sure, you can just heat it up and go for a second round but it’s extremely easy to create an entirely new meal out of it.
Here are five tried and tested recipes for leftover chicken:
Holiday ham, yum. But what to do with the leftovers? After letting yourself grab a few bites straight from the container the morning after, here are five recipes you can use it in:
Whether you were trying to impress your significant other with some amazing Sunday roast or have leftover lamb from your Christmas dinner, here are five articles to turn it into something new and delicious:
If you’ve mastered cooking rice, good for you. For most of us, that’s not the case and we end up making too much every time. But all’s not lost — make the most of leftover rice with these simple recipes:
Or, maybe it was noodles that you made too much of this time. Don’t worry, just whip together a Pho the next day.
While the average consumer is not the greatest threat to the environment, it is still crucial that we all take steps to reduce the amount of food we throw away. Being mindful of our actions and behaviour has a strong impact in the long run. We can do better!
So, the next time you have your groceries delivered by Bolt Food or order in, pay attention to how much you actually consume. And if you happen to have leftovers, be sure to use them.
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