Did you know that on average, homes in Essex waste £720 a year in food that could have been eaten? Not only is food waste costing us money, but it also damages the environment and contributes to climate change.
Before putting food in your compost bin or your food waste caddy, there are steps we can all take in cutting out the amount of food we waste in Essex.
Planning your meals, even just a few days in advance, means you can use up what needs to be eaten in your fridge, and only buy what you need. This saves you both time and money, and can be less stressful as there’s no need to worry about what to cook every day.
Think about what meals you want to cook, check your cupboards and then write a shopping list before heading to the shops.
Make sure to check date labels and understand the difference between 'Use By' and 'Best Before'. This makes it easier to use or freeze your food before it spoils!
Set your fridge temperature below 5 degrees and put food in the freezer if you are unlikely to eat it in time. Find out how to freeze common foods at Love Food Hate Waste.
By storing food items in the correct place, we can make sure our food lasts as long as possible. Did you know that potatoes stored in the fridge can last more than three times as long compared with storage at room-temperature?
Another top tip is to make use of store cupboard essentials – tins, seasoning, oils, herbs, and spices – to turn your leftovers into something new and exciting!
Weigh or measure your food to work out the right amount for you and your family. A mug, tablespoon, or scales can help you measure out the right amount of food.
Some common portion amounts include 75g for one adult portion of pasta or rice, and 40g for breakfast cereal.
Don't forget to pop your leftovers in the freezer for a quick meal to enjoy at a later date.
Or, if you are feeling creative, why not try and turn them into something else? Love Food Hate Waste’s recipe search tool is a great resource for finding recipe ideas with your leftover ingredients.
For more top tips to reduce your food waste, make sure to sign up to our monthly Love Essex e-newsletter.
Any food waste that you either can't eat, or can't compost, should be popped in your food recycling caddy. This means that instead of going to landfill, your food waste will go to an anaerobic digestion plant. This process produces a bio-gas, which is used to generate electricity. It also creates a nutrient-rich soil that farmers can use for their fields to help grow more food!