5 Steps Towards Zero Food Waste

Picture 5 shopping bags full of food that you’ve just brought home from the shops. Now imagine throwing 1 of those bags straight into the rubbish bin.

OK, we know what you’re thinking – there’s no way you’d ever do that. But, according to research conducted by Foodwise, Australians throw out 20 percent of their grocery purchases, so chances are you might already be doing it.

Food waste is an epidemic, but there are ways you can fight back.

  1. Compost

Composting is an obvious but effective way to reduce (and reuse) food waste. It doesn’t require much effort, and it provides you with nutritiously-rich fertiliser that will help your garden grow more food for you – win-win.  Keeping a few backyard hens is another way to reuse food waste – and even they turn it into eggs!

  1. Best Before vs. Use By

There’s a critical difference between ‘Best Before’ and ‘Use By’ dates, and it’s all in the name.

If something says ‘Use By’, you want to make sure you’ve eaten it before that date. But if something says “Best Before”, it’s the manufacturer’s way of saying that while this product will probably be better if consumed before that date, if it’s been stored correctly it’s probably still safe to eat afterwards.

  1. Store (correctly)

Storing things in airtight containers so they don’t go stale or get attacked by critters, stock rotation in your fridge, so there’s not a forgotten carrot abandoned at the back, and even making sure your fridge temperature is set correctly (between 1-5 degrees Celsius) all go towards ensuring food lasts longer and doesn’t have to exit your home in a body (garbage) bag.

  1. Write a grocery list

Making a list before you go shopping has many benefits. It forces you to check what you’ve already got before you go (and not double up on food). It saves you money on impulse purchases. And it makes sure you’re organised with your meal planning so that the food you buy will end up being enjoyed, not thrown out.

  1. Leftover love

We’ve all misjudged the amount of dry rice to cook and ended up with enough to feed half of China. Whether it’s a completed meal or components of a meal putting it in a container and freezing for another day both saves food waste and time down the track.

Remember, even baby steps go a long way to making a significant change.