How to do a food waste audit #ctww

When I ask people how much food they waste, most people claim none at all.

But when I actually challenge them to take a food waste audit, the reality is a bit different, and often a stark awakening.


Over on Reduce Footprints, the “Change the World Wednesday” challenge is all about taking a food waste audit, so I wanted to share three ways to do this.

You’ll find something that works regardless of how little time or energy you have on your hands.

The first two are very simple:


Keep your food waste in a separate plastic bag and guestimate how much you have by volume – one small freezer bag, a carrier bag a black bin liner?


Separate your food waste (a lidded container on your kitchen work surface will work for this. Be sure to weigh the empty container before you start) and at the end of a week weigh the container to see how much food waste you’ve accumulated.

The third takes more planning and time but will give you a more accurate recording:

Food waste diary

Keep a chart in your kitchen and record everything you throw away. Jot down the food type, why you are throwing it away and where you put it – i.e. in the bin, in the food waste recycling, compost or fed to animals.

There is a handy food waste diary on the Love Food Hate Waste website to make this easy for you.

Once you’ve taken your food waste audit you’ll have information on hand to make improvements. From there you can see if there is a particular type of food you waste most, or a meal time that generates more waste or maybe you’ll discover a dish that no one particularly likes but has somehow got onto your household menu plan!

How do you keep track of food waste at home?

Posted in

Rachelle Strauss


  1. [email protected] on August 30, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    For almost three years now I have been photographing my Friday fridge (and blogging about it. There’s nothing quite like public accountability to keep you on track). Now this may sound a little strange but it works. Particularly if you are a visual person. That’s how I do my audit/inventory (I do check my cupboards also – however this week I forgot about a bag of tomatoes – which when checked were okay… phew!). Anything that is to go to waste also gets photographed and accounted for.
    I realised that rather than just acknowledging my food waste each Friday I needed to have a plan on how to reduce it. No Waste Tastes Great was born. Basically whatever could be wasted is made into another dish. Not all things can be saved, but I try my best. There have been disasters aka the celery gratin and triumphs aka various slow cooked curries. No-ones perfect we all produce waste from time to time, but aiming high is a good reminder of trying that extra bit harder. Next week I’ll be working hard to ensure that I have zero-waste again (as I have so far this week – yay!).

  2. Zero waste week | NZ Ecochick on December 8, 2013 at 10:31 am

    […] acceptable. To help you keep yourself in check you can use the very good food audit from Love Food Hate Waste website. The easiest way to not waste food is not to over buy or over cook items unless you intend to eat […]

  3. […] Audit – Had I signed up sooner I would have taken a food audit this week, alas, it is a little too late now.  I will be doing one from Monday 5th though, so I […]

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