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5 Simple Ways to Reduce Food Waste

Updated: 6 days ago

Food waste is a big problem – and it’s only getting worse. Almost a third of the world’s food is wasted each year, representing more than 1 billion tonnes.

Developed nations such as the UK and the United States are some of the worst culprits, thanks in part to the easy availability of food at a comparatively accessible price point than underdeveloped countries.

Food bin with food waste

1.     Focus on storage

Storing your food properly can help keep it safe to eat (and tasty) for longer.  To help prevent food spoiling, find out how to store each of the items you buy.

Some common storage problems occur due to simple misunderstandings, such as thinking all fruits and vegetables should be kept in a refrigerator.  In truth, items such as garlic, onions, and potatoes do much better at room temperature, and could quickly go ‘bad’ if kept in your fridge.

2.     Preserve what you can

Preserving food has been a tried and tested method of avoiding food wastage for centuries. Whether freezing, drying, curing or pickling, each of these techniques can help you avoid wasting whatever you can’t eat right away.

This helps to reduce your food bill as well as having a positive impact on the planet. Before throwing away food that is nearing its ‘Use By’ date, see if it can be given a new life! Many of the techniques involved in food preservation are lots of fun for all the family, so you can even help teach the new generation about the joys of avoiding food wastage.

3.     Save seeds for planting

lettuce end on wooden chopping board

Many of the foods we use in everyday life can be grown in your own home, with a little patience and ingenuity. Pumpkins, avocados, peppers, chilis, potatoes and more – by keeping the roots or seeds of vegetables and fruits, you can plant them and watch them grow!

Look out for seasonal produce, and if you don’t have a garden, don’t panic – window boxes and window sills are a fantastic alternative and will help you contribute to more sustainable solutions.

4.     Get to grips with expiration dates

Lots of people struggle to understand the difference between a ‘Use By’ and a ‘Sell By’ or a ‘Best Before’, with these terms often appearing interchangeably on the food we buy.

As a result, many of us could be wasting perfectly safe and edible foods. The only date which isn’t ambiguous is the ‘Use By’, which is included for food safety (and particularly vital when handling meat products). For all the others, they are simply suggestions rather than instructions to throw the food out.

graphic with food waste saving hacks

5.     Don’t be a perfectionist

Perfectionism makes sense in many areas of life, but if you’re looking for aesthetic perfection from your food, it can often cause my harm than joy! Far too much tasty produce goes to waste due to concerns over its appearance or sheer overproduction, which presents (often unrealistic) standards.

At Earth & Wheat, we’re working to combat this problem by offering tasty, freshly made bread in the UK’s first ever wonky bread box – created by local bakeries and delivered direct to your door.

By embracing the imperfect, you can do your bit to help tackle food waste.

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