Tackling Food Waste At Home. Helping You Help The Environment
According to the Environmental Protection Agency between 2010 and 2016 food waste contributed to 10% of global carbon emissions. Whilst between 25% and 30% of all food produced is wasted, ending up in the bin. So it is evident that tackling food waste is a cost effective way to fight climate catastrophe!
We in The Q Cafe Company are working diligently each day to weigh, measure and record food wastage. Thereby implementing corrective actions to reduce wastage along our production chain. We do this by simply weighing over production waste and plate waste every single day. How can you help at home? Fear not! We’re not going to tell you to release your inner hipster and to ferment your cabbage after bacon and cabbage, or to make kombucha out of your Barrys….
Reducing Food Waste At Home
We have 5 simple steps that will help you to reduce food waste at home, and therefore help to reduce your carbon emissions at home. These will have wide ranging positive impacts on the environment.
Step One: First In First Out
Similar to catering operations, try to use a policy of what enterers your fridge first, should ideally by used first. This prevents food ‘going off’ unnecessarily and it also reduces your susceptibility to harmful food poisoning bacteria.
Step Two: Label Your Food!
Batch cooking is a super way to cook more sustainably and save time during the week. If you place batch cooked portions in the fridge or freezer, always make sure you label them with the dish name, date cooked, ingredients and any allergens (if required). Firstly, if stored in the fridge, it should be consumed within 2-3 days. So by labelling it, you will know when to eat it by. Whilst if in the freezer, you will at least know what tub contains what dish!
Step Three: Measure Your Plate Waste!
We know! What a pain! BUT…
Place all left over food from your the plates of the Sunday roast into a bowl. This is known as ‘plate waste’. Before binning it, you can weigh it on the food scales. You might be surprised with the weight of food you are about to throw out.
You can then determine if:
- The portion sizes were too large.
- You can cook less food next time
- You buy a smaller joint of meat next time.
Try to measure the weight of your Sunday roast wastage over a number of weeks and see if you can reduce it. Not by over eating though!!
Step Four: Make A List!
The simplest and most efficient way to reduce food waste is to make a shopping list. Check what is in the cupboards, fridge and freezer first. Then try to stick to it when in the supermarket. This will not only help the environment, it will help your pocket and your health too! Supermarkets are designed to support impulse buying, such as all the goodies at the checkout. Your list will help you navigate this.
Step Five: Meal Plan
A little boring maybe, and slightly against the free spirited nature of the most creative home cooks. However, our chefs plan their menus in advance in order to control food wastage. So this is a pretty viable way in understanding what you need for your shopping list, reducing over spend in the shop and preventing wastage of food from the fridge, cupboards etc.
Infographic from StopFoodWaste.ie outlining that foods that are wasted most at home.