Saving food waste saves you money and it also helps the planet!
Globally, 30% of all food grown is wasted and, in the UK, a massive 70% of food waste happens in our homes - and most of it edible!
We envision a world where no food is wasted and people feel good about saving food so, while we reimagine wonky waste and turn it into wonderful drinks, we want to encourage you to find ways to save food too.
Here are some tips to help you make a big impact for the planet.
1. BE CONSCIOUS ABOUT HABITS
Addressing habits, such as what food you buy and how you prepare it, is a key way to cut down on food waste. If you buy too much or buy things you don’t use (that sit in the cupboard or fridge until being thrown away) then changing your habits to buying only what you will use can be key to cutting down food waste. Prepare for this by taking some time to:
- meal-plan so you know what you need
- make a shopping list and stick to it
- figure out portion sizes so you know how much you need and how much to prepare
- understand which items you already have that need using first
2. BUY WONKY FRUIT & VEG
The aesthetic of fruit and vegetables are held to high standards, meaning that people expect produce to look a certain way. When produce is the ‘wrong’ shape, size or colour it is more likely to go to waste. If you spot a wonky looking bit of produce we encourage you to buy it!
Farmers markets are the perfect place to source the wonky and wonderful, some supermarkets also sell wonky veg and, for a home delivery option, our friends at fellow B Corp Oddbox deliver a whole box of saved wonky and surplus fruits and veg straight to your door!
3. CONTACT YOUR MP
With 70% of UK food waste happening in our homes, it's really important that we take action in our kitchens. But sometimes we need to step out of the kitchen and take bigger action that can impact our wider communities. Part of the solution to preventing food waste is letting government representatives know food waste is an issue people care about and asking them to do something about it. With food waste prevention policies in place, the amount of food wasted could be drastically reduced!
4. BUY REDUCED/YELLOW STICKER FOODS
Foods nearing their use-by or best before date are deemed less desirable and so are reduced to help get them out the door of supermarkets. When these items aren't bought, they end up in landfill and emit greenhouse gases that damage the climate. Food waste accounts for approximately 10% of all global greenhouse gases so anywhere we can cut down on these emissions is a win!
We like to make yellow-sticker buying into a game, seeing what meal we can make out of the products we buy reduced. You can either plan your evening meal around reduced items, incorporate them into a dish or, as most foods can be frozen, pop them in the freezer for later!
5. START A PETITION
Although most UK food waste happens in our home, plenty still happens in supermarkets, restaurants and institutions, like schools and universities. Most food wasted is completely edible and making waves in your local community, to encourage businesses and institutions to change their procurement methods to reduce surplus food going to waste, could be really beneficial to saving food. Alternatively, asking businesses to direct edible food to local food kitchens or banks and inedible food and food scraps to composting services would further still reduce food waste and its associated greenhouse gas emission in the UK.
6. TURN DOWN THE FRIDGE
This one is simple… Having the fridge below 5c keeps food fresher for longer! One of the reasons we waste food is that it starts to go off before we have a chance to use it. Things like milk can begin to sour and leafy greens can wilt quickly in a warmer fridge. Simply turning the fridge down a few degrees can help give you more time to use things up!
If you think something might not get used up… Preserve it! Most people think preserving is a complicated process of fermenting but pickling, drying, canning and freezing are also preservation methods! Depending on the food you might want to try different methods of preservation.
Nearly every food can be frozen, making freezing a simple, easy and accessible way to preserve food until you can use it up.
How about some pickles?! Pickling uses brine or vinegar and can be used to pickle veggies such as gherkins, beetroot, cabbage, carrots and even grapes!
Sauces, jams and chutney, oh my! Canning uses the properties of vinegars, sugars and salts (sometimes in combination) to make things last.
Finally, drying food to removing moisture can be a fun way to preserve fruits, making chewy snacks the whole family enjoy.
Reduce your food waste by collecting food scraps and composting them! Composting is a beneficial way to use up scrap food because the nutrients can be used to help plants grow.
You can compost in the smallest of spaces, even if you don’t have a garden, it is possible to compost in the kitchen with the help of a countertop system! The compost can then be used to provide houseplants and windowsill herb gardens with nutrients. Another option is to find a local community garden or allotment and see if they are happy for you to add your waste to their compost heap!
9. GROW YOUR OWN
Just like composting, you don’t always need lots of room for this! In small spaces, including indoor spaces with plenty of sunlight, it is possible to grow strawberries, tomatoes or a herb garden.
If you do grow your own food, you will quickly see the huge variety of shapes, sizes and colours of your produce and see just how natural being wonky is! Another added benefit is the more people grow their own food and embrace wonky, the less we rely on the aesthetically ‘perfect’ produce from the supermarket.
Growing food can also help us understand the effort that goes into growing food. A lot of time and energy can go into keeping plants alive and producing quality produce can inspire a new appreciation for food!
10. UNDERSTAND EXPIRATION DATES
Only half of the UK knows that food and drink past its Best Before date can be perfectly safe to consume and this leads to 180,00 tonnes of food being wasted.
Use-by-dates relate to safety regulations on food. However, Best Before dates relate to quality. Most food will still be good to eat for a while after the best before date, often months later.
An easy way to check if Best Before foods are ok to eat is to use the Too Good To Go ‘Look, Smell Taste don’t waste!’ method. Simple look and smell for signs of degradation like mould and unpleasant smells. If both are ok, have a little taste. If your food tastes how you expect, then the food is good to eat!