When asked, a lot of people say that they don’t waste much food. While binning the odd manky lettuce and stale bread crust might not seem like it would add up to much, it does: in the UK, the amount of food that gets binned at home is far greater than the food wasted by supermarkets, restaurants and manufacturers – put together!
Reducing our food waste can save each of us around £230 per year. It could also have a huge impact on the environment – if everyone in the UK cut their food waste, we could reduce emissions by as much as if we took 1 in 4 cars off the road.
Here are our three top tips for saving food and money:
Store it right
To help demystify food storage, Love Food Hate Waste has developed a new A–Z food storage guide to point people in the right direction. The guide will tell you whether foods last better in the cupboard or fridge, and whether or not something can be safely frozen.
- Potatoes – these belong in a cool, dark place, not the fridge.
- Eggs – these belong in their original box and in the fridge. Did you know you can freeze them if you’re worried about not using them in time? Separate the whites and yolks and pop them in a labelled container.
- Tomatoes – these can be stored in the fridge to make them last longer.
Keep your fridge cool
The average fridge in UK homes is set to 7 degrees, which is far too high for most foods, meaning they go off quicker and get wasted. Food that is wasted will rot and release methane – a greenhouse gas which can contribute to climate change.
Checking and changing your fridge temperature to 0–5 degrees can make food last up to three extra days, keeping it fresher for longer and preventing it going to waste.
Not sure how to check the temperature? The Love Food Hate Waste fridge thermometer tool can help you work it out.
Make the most of your freezer
If you’re not a keen meal planner, remember you can freeze food right up to the use-by date. Perfect for those spontaneous dinner plans – just pop your food in the freezer instead!
Be portion smart with what you freeze. If you have some fruit about to go off, chop it up and freeze it in chunks! An ice-cube tray is your friend here – freeze chunks separately in the different sections, then when they’re good and chilled pop them all in an airtight container or bag.
You can find lots more tips and recipes at Love Food Hate Waste and find out more about projects working on food waste in Oxfordshire here.