It’s food waste Friday – Zero Waste Week day 5

Good morning everyone – how are you getting on with your Zero Waste Week?

Today’s theme is ‘Food Waste Friday’ – the phrase first used by Kristen over at the Frugal Girl.

The average family throws away £50 of edible food per month.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather spend that money on something else, wouldn’t you?

Most people, when you talk about food waste say, but *I* never have anything, I never throw anything away.

And I’d challenge you to find out for sure whether that’s true.

Why not take a food waste audit for a week?

Every day for a week write down everything you throw away into the bin, food caddy or compost heap. Or jot down the scraps you feed to the garden birds / dog / cat / chickens.

You might discover that you ARE throwing something away which you could have eaten yourself.

If you already know you waste food, today is the day to pick one area of food waste to focus on.

Before we get onto the tips for the day, let’s have a quiz! Tell me which of the following are food waste. Ready?


This delicious pot of double cream


This tasty looking cream cheese


This rather browned off banana


This pineapple wearing a fur coat

What do you think? Which ones are only fit for the bin?

If you guessed the cream cheese and the double cream you were right – the other two are INGREDIENTS my friends and a good reminder to us not to judge a book by its cover.

Once peeled, the banana was perfect for banana cake!


While astonishing even to me, the pineapple was perfect inside and full of juice – THIS much juice!


Here are some tips for reducing food waste:

Take an inventory

By making note of what you already have in the fruit bowl, vegetable rack and fridge you can keep an eye on what’s coming up to it’s best and use it up before it goes off.

Make a list

If you’re anything like most people you shop on autopilot – grabbing the things you always buy and sticking them in your trolley. But how many times do you arrive home and realise you’ve bought duplicates that you won’t be able to eat up in time?

Use your inventory as a basis for your shopping list and STICK TO THE LIST!


Avoid the BOGOF offers on fresh food unless you’re absolutely sure you can eat them up in time.

Ingredients, not leftovers

Adopt the mantra “They’re not leftovers, they’re ingredients!” and treat any leftover food as a star player in tomorrow’s meals.

Use your freezer

I’m constantly learning about new things that can be frozen – buying you time to use them up. Baked beans, grated cheese and fresh herbs can all be frozen for another day.

Serve smaller portions

Fed up with toddler food on the side of the plate? Serve less and when they’ve eaten it all, invite them back for more – this way any uneaten food is clean and can be stored carefully for the following day.

What about you – what is the top wasted food in your household? Salad, bread, bananas…?

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Rachelle Strauss

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