Don’t let food go to waste
Each year households throw away 250,000 tonnes of edible food – enough to fill Melbourne’s Eureka Tower.
The average Victorian household throws away $2,136 a year in wasted food.
65% or almost two thirds of the food Victorian households throw away could have been eaten.
Reducing food waste starts with knowing what’s in the pantry, fridge and freezer.
Giving your pantry, fridge and freezer a regular tidy-up and placing food that needs to be used soon, in easy reach, is the first step in reducing food waste. Check the used by and best before dates and use up the older products first.
What’s the difference between used by and best before dates?
For health and safety reasons, foods should not be eaten after the used by date as they may no longer be safe.
You can still eat foods after the best before date as they should be safe, but they may have lost some quality.
Click here to go to the Food Standards Australia New Zealand website for a full explanation.
Now that you know what’s in the pantry, fridge and freezer, it’s time to make a meal plan for the week ahead. Think about who you are cooking for, whether they need something that can be easily re-heated and what you currently have on hand.
Plan Buy Cook has some great templates you can download for free to help with evening meal planning. Their 4+2+1=Dinner Done method is a great way to eat well and not have to cook every night.
Once you’ve decided what you’d like to eat for the week, it’s time to create a shopping list.
Shop to a list
Using a shopping list saves time and money in the long run. It gives you the freedom to shrug off those two for one deals, and nagging doubts about whether there really are enough carrots in the crisper as you zip around the supermarket in half the time. There’s a really handy shopping list template available at Plan Buy Cook. The list is divided into food categories, making it quick and easy to scan the list and see if you’re finish in that section of the supermarket. Once you get your shopping home, the next key step is to store your food correctly.
Store food correctly
Food that’s stored correctly stays fresher and lasts longer. Where and how we store food can also affect the taste and nutritional value of food. Should apples be stored in the fridge, pantry or the fruit bowl on the kitchen bench? Should you unwrap food before placing it in the fridge?
Download Sustainability Victoria’s printable lists to help you correctly store common fresh food items in your fridge or pantry.
The Better Health Channel provides useful tips on safely storing cooked foods. There’s a free downloadable pdf available on their site.
For further hints and tips to reduce food waste, visit Sustainability Victoria’s Love Food Hate Waste page.