Food! We can’t live without it, even while typing out this article I couldn’t help myself but grab a pack of crisps and a drink to help recuperate. However there is one thing we could really do without in this relationship…the excessive food and packaging waste we generate here in the UK. ?Food waste is a bigger problem than many people realise in fact, almost one-third of all food produced in the world is discarded or wasted. This leads to approximately 1.3 billion tons of food waste every year. (food and agriculture Organization of the UN)? While we may not contribute to this figure directly it affects all of us. In the UK food waste is costing UK households an estimated £2 billion pounds each year. That is like throwing out £50 pound into a black bin bag once a month and taking it to the landfill. ?Therefore, it is important we challenge ourselves and find new ways to deal with food waste directly from home or within our community. ?Since being in lockdown I have realised how much food unfortunately gets spoiled and goes to waste in my accommodation. Now I feel compelled to utilise the food in my kitchen and this is how…?
Learn to Preserve:
Since we’re stuck in our homes lets try out new preservation techniques we wouldn’t usually try on a day to day basis. For example, pickling is a preservation method using brine or vinegar that has been used for thousands of years, yet I only started trying out this technique a few days ago. ?Pickling, drying, canning, freezing are all methods you can use to make food your last longer and also shrink your carbon footprint. ?Not only that but it could save you a few pounds in the long run, while being a fun and enjoyable process you can try during your free time.?
Don’t considered packing all your leftovers just for the holidays try and make it a lifestyle. On the other hand many people save excessive portions of food from large meals (guilty), forget they left it in the fridge and toss it out when it goes bad. ?Instead store in a clear container, rather than in an opaque container, to help make sure you don’t forget the food. If it is common for you to have leftovers try and devote a day to consume the food piled up in the fridge. ?????
You could argue that it is human nature to buy more food than you need. Research shows that ‘buying in bulk’ is convenient but leads to more food waste. To avoid this when you have time try and make frequent trips to the grocers now and then rather than bulk buying once in the week.
?No Need to be an Expert:
The consumer demand for perfect fruits and vegetables has led to major grocery chains to buy only picture-perfect produce from farmers. This causes tons of perfectly good food going to waste. ?As a consumer myself I would suggest choosing slightly imperfect produce at the grocery store, or better yet, shop online or at local grocer where you have only a certain pick of produce.? ?Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of good food is wasted by the UK food industry every year. At the same time, millions of people are struggling to afford to eat. We should aim to address these two issues and try our best to deal them the best we can.?
Food banks are a powerful tool not only in the fight against hunger but waste as well. Food banks help collect and distribute excess food from households to people who are in most need.? Coventry Foodbank does a great job at supporting people with emergency food but they’re running a reduced service due to measures put in place to deal with COVID. ?However, they do need your support for food foundations, volunteering and finances. Can you help stop the hunger crisis happening here in the UK? ?
Click on the links below to learn about the ways you can live without throwing excess food away and help your community:??