1000 Flowers for the Planet - #382 Avoid Food Waste
Food waste in the Western world seems to be at an average of 30% of what we ‘throw away’. This food has already used a huge amount of resources to be grown – water, fertiliser, human effort, land use – and then transport expenses in terms of fossil fuels, carbon emissions, air pollution and traffic congestion, just to get to the shop where you buy it. Then you use effort and fossil fuels, creating carbon emissions and traffic congestion, to get it home, where you continue to use resources to store it – refrigerants which eventually create toxic waste – then cook it (more fossil fuels, carbon emissions, air pollution), to put it on a plate in front of your family who do not wish to acknowledge everything that’s gone into providing this meal, can’t be bothered eating it all, so you chuck it in the bin. = 30% food waste
I haven’t even mentioned the money that’s been wasted.
Food waste can be avoided in many different ways. If we could all get over this idea that fruit and vegetables come in standard sizes and shapes, then farmers wouldn’t be throwing away perfectly good food because it isn’t ‘appealing to the eye’. Only buy what you need and consider shopping more regularly, and locally, for foods that don’t keep for long periods in storage, such as fruits and vegetables. Cook less. If your family is not eating everything on the plate, they obviously prefer to eat less than you’re providing. Many Westerners eat too much anyway, so reducing portion sizes is a step in the right direction for many reasons. Learn to deal with leftovers by finding ways to use them in another meal, rather than chucking them in the bin. Share recipes and ideas with other families to inject a new idea or two into your menu planning. Write that menu plan weekly, or fortnightly, to ensure you buy the right foods in the right quantities. So there are six ideas from my five minutes of brain effort. What other ideas can you come up with?