Zero Waste Food Tips

Food waste is a huge—but edible—problem. Food waste costs the economy around $20 billion each year. Each year we waste around 7.3 million tons of food – this wastage equals about 300kg per person or one in five bags of groceries. 

Food that’s taken land and energy to produce, required water and nutrients, needed labour to ensure it grew, could be harvested and processed, fuel to transport…and then it ends up in the bin. It’s estimated that food waste accounts for more than five per cent of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. If that’s not the biggest unnecessary waste of resources, then we don’t know what is. 

Fortunately, there are many things we can do at home to reduce our food waste, so we’ve put together some of our top tips to help you reduce your food waste and take those extra steps towards a zero-waste kitchen.

Preparation is Key

One of the easiest ways to be successful in a zero-waste kitchen is preparation. Before heading to the supermarket or farmer’s market, organise your fridge or cupboards, create an inventory, plan your meals for the week and write a shopping list to ensure that you only buy exactly what you need and will actually use.

Store your food properly

An essential first step in reducing food waste is storing your food. Your produce will stay fresh and last longer if it is stored correctly. Learn to recognise if something is bad or not, rather than relying on the ultra-conservative supermarket “best before” dates and ensure that food is kept in clean, sealable containers either in cupboards or in the fridge as needed. It’s also a good idea to freeze what you can in portions as soon as you bring them home so you can use what you need.

Save your food scraps

Food scraps can be used in a whole heap of easy and useful ways; vegetable stalks and skins can be made into homemade stock, apple cores and skins can be fermented down into apple cider vinegar, roots can be sprouted in water and planted in your veggie garden, stale bread can be roasted into croutons or fried for french toast, soft fruit and veg can be used in baking, banana skins can even be used for cleaning! What you can’t, or don’t want to reuse, can be thrown into the compost bin.

Begin or Rediscover Composting

Whether you haven’t started composting, or you’ve forgotten about that compost bin in the corner of your garden, now is the perfect time to begin or rediscover composting. The food scraps you produce in the kitchen (think carrot peels, eggshells, coffee grounds) can create beautiful compost which is so much better for the environment then chucking those scraps in a landfill.

Cook in Bulk

Cooking bulk, one-pot meals are a great way to ensure that your produce doesn’t go bad before you’ve had a chance to use it. Bulk meals can be easily frozen in meal portions and used when you fancy them. Plus it will almost be like reaching for a ready meal after work saving you the time of preparing a fresh meal every day.

Reducing food waste may seem overwhelming or challenging at first, but remember that every single effort counts. If all of us began practising even a couple of these tips on a regular basis, that would have a huge impact on our health, our budgets and the environment. Start with easy things like only buying the amount of food you need, shopping in-season, buying from local farmers to reduce the carbon footprint of your food and cooking in bulk. There’s no better time to get started than now – today is the day!

How zero waste is your kitchen? Let us know in the comments.

Back to list

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *