Food which is wasted usually ends up in a landfill.

In order for food to start decomposing it requires light and air. Without either, it turns into methane gas, which adds to general global warming.

Most homes end up buying more than they need on a weekly basis, due to several factors – busy dads, rushing mums, clever kids – and much fresh food goes off before families can use it.

This is called – POOR PORTION CONTROL.

In order to make your contribution to World Environment Day this year and Reduce YOUR Foodprint, there are several ways in which you can go about it.

  • ORGANIZE

Plan your meals for at least one week by first checking what you have left from the previous week in your fridge but also in your cupboards and larder, and think of recipes which can accommodate these ingredients.

  • KEEP TO PLAN

When you are at the market or grocery store buy what is on your list – all you buy beyond it will most probably end up as waste since all your meals were already planned.

  • MAINTAIN YOUR FRIDGE

Check if defective rubber seals or ice accumulation hinder door closure and whether fridge temperature is appropriate to what it contains – food stored between 1 and 5 degree Celcius maintain their freshness longer.

  • BE CREATIVE

Food which is turning soft or beginning to wilt can still be eaten – fruit can be turned into smoothies, fruit pies or jams and vegetables into dips or soups.

  • BE THRIFTY

Leftovers can be transformed without losing their quality – they can be eaten cold with other ingredients, mashed into patés or provide extra flavour to new dishes.

  • ROTATE

Re-arrange your kitchen cupboards and larders frequently so that older items get pushed to the front and new ones placed at the back so that all your ingredients are eaten as they are bought.

  • THINK SMALL

If your portions are served in small doses it is always possible to come back for further helpings instead of finishing meals with leftovers on the plate or eating what you don’t really want, just to be polite.

  • GET YOUR SUMS RIGHT

When you shop avoid pre-packed food and choose only what you require for your week, thus avoiding carrying home more than you can eat or store correctly.

  • FREEZE

Separate your food into portions appropriate for single or family meals thus allowing flexibility in your weeks’ recipe planning. In this way you will always cook the appropriate amount each day.

  • COMPOST

Even without a garden you can turn your home into one if you use fruit and vegetable peelings and even cooked food waste into special bins[1] which will turn them into rich compost for any plants or hers that you are growing.

By Silvia Pelham

 


[1] For example Bokashi Bins – http://www.bokashicomposting.com/

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