Six steps towards less food waste
You’ve probably already read the incredible figures: In Austria, around one million tons of food ends up dumped; in Germany it’s around 18 million. And much of this comes from private households. It would seem that we find it hard to be careful with our food and only buy what we need. The following tips, however, should help you throw away less food.
1) Make a meal plan
Have a think a couple of days in advance about what you’d like to eat and what you need. Is there really no bread left? What’s left over from dinner last night? To begin with, you’ll need a little bit of discipline to stop yourself hitting the aisles whenever the mood takes you. But after a little while, you’ll know exactly how much you need. In the long run, this will save time and money in the supermarket.
2) Buy better
We are often quite spontaneous when we shop, and far too much lands in our shopping trolley. So don’t go when you’re hungry, and don’t go without a list. Resist big packs that are apparently a good deal. A bulk discount is no good when half of the pack ends up in the bin. If you can, head to a local market. Everything is unpackaged there, and available in small portions. Sprouting onions and slices of dry cheese will then become a thing of the past. The bigger the trolley, the more we are tempted to put in.
3) Creative use of leftovers
You can whip up some fantastic dishes from all sorts of scraps. Last night’s fresh leafy spinach becomes this morning’s super green smoothie. Transform pumpkin mash into a soup and a pumpkin tart. Freezing, drying and preserving are tried-and-tested methods of keeping surplus produce for later. And it saves money too.
Practically packaged, clever snacking: invest in a couple of good food boxes to store your office lunch in, or for snacks when you’re out and about.
4) Stocks that will last forever
Forever? Okay, you don’t have to take that last part literally, but foods like sugar, salt, rice, honey, pasta and grains can be kept for up to several years – provided they’re stored right! And even when the date on the packaging has expired. Store these foods in well-sealed containers to protect them against moisture, light and unwanted little pests.
5) Expired doesn’t mean rotten
Talking about the expiry date, it’s only with highly perishable foods such as meat that you absolutely must abide by the date printed on the packaging. For other things, including our Joya products, the date on the pack is the best-before date. This indicates that the product will exhibit the same properties as it did when you purchased it, up until at least that point. So don’t worry: it won’t go bad the minute the expiry date passes! And in turn, an unopened Yogurt Alternative or expired carton of Rice Drink doesn’t necessarily have to get tossed straight in the bin.
Rely on your senses. If a food still looks like it should and if there’s no peculiar smell or taste to it, then it’s still good to go.
6) Be flexible
Of course, your eating habits should fit your lifestyle. You can prevent food waste regardless of whether you prefer to do a big shop or buy smaller amounts more frequently. The better these habits slot into your everyday life, the easier you’ll find it. So ditching food is no longer something you have to worry about!
What other tips have you got?