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Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Five Tips To Reduce Food Waste

Today is World Food Day and if you’ve been following the news recently, you may have come across the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO)’s recent report Food Wastage Footprint: Impacts on Natural Resources.  In addition to quantifying the key environmental impacts of food wastage, the report also identifies that approximately one third of the global food supply goes to waste.  This is a staggering figure and pretty daunting for the average European, not least because the problem is disproportionally higher in developed countries.  

While we consumers may have little control over what happens at the production and distribution stages of the food supply chain, we can exercise some control over how much food is wasted at the consumption stage.  So in honour of World Food Day, here are a few tips to help reduce food waste in the supermarket and kitchen.

Image courtesy of Kathryn Sheridan
1/ Fruit and vegetables - fear not the misshapen cucumber, carrot, apple or any other fruit or vegetable that looks slightly odd.  Retailers bin a lot of produce before it even has a chance to hit supermarket shelves, but this is on aesthetic grounds, not for health or nutritional reasons.  Buying imperfect fruits and veg at farmers’ markets can help use up foods that would otherwise go to waste.

2/ Bakery – there’s nothing worse than grabbing a slice of bread for breakfast and realizing it’s reached that hard, dry consistency and is only fit for the bin.  You may have to forgo that baguette for breakfast, but old bread is the perfect ingredient for making homemade croutons.  This is because more of the moisture has evaporated – leaving lots of room for bread to absorb tons of flavour in the skillet or oven.

3/ Dairy – go on and freeze that cheese!  You can freeze just about any type of cheese for up to six months, although harder cheeses will fare better in terms of flavour and texture once thawed.  Cheese that has been frozen has a relatively crumbly texture but is perfect for use in soups, sauces and casseroles.  It’s best to put cheese in an airtight wrapping to preserve as much flavour as possible and prevent freezer burn.

4/ Meat – planning on binning your meaty leftovers after dinner?  Think again!  There are tons of great recipes available to help you turn that extra meat or chicken into a tasty meal fit for dinner tomorrow, too. 

5/ Wine – leftover wine, is such a thing possible?  But if the impossible has indeed happened, there are plenty of ways you can use extra wine.  Using red or white wine as an ingredient for salad dressing is a great option.  Making mulled wine also works really well, because the added sugar cuts the bitter taste of wine that has been opened for too long.  And because we’re based in Brussels, let’s not forget about using white wine to steam clams or mussels.

Happy World Food Day from Sustainability Consult!

Blog by Hayley Coristine

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