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Food Waste 2

Preventing food waste at home | Kiaora Place

Monday 12 April, 2021

Would you throw away 1 in 5 bags of groceries?

Tackling Australia’s food waste problem

Food waste is a big environmental problem, and we hate to break it to you, but as Australians, we’re some of the worst offenders in the world.

It’s an issue that costs the economy around $20 billion each year and accounts for more than five percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. According to the Australian government, as a country we waste a staggering 7.3 million tonnes of food each year. That’s around 300kg per person – or one in five bags of groceries.

Want to stop a moment and think about how much money you are personally throwing away each year? Every sad, neglected vegetable from your crisper; every plate of leftovers you didn’t eat because you got takeaway instead. It all adds up.

There’s also big problems at the supply chain level too. Ugly fruits that don’t pass supermarket standards. Foods not staying cold during transport and going bad. Restaurants not being able to sell food due to snap COVID lockdowns. The list goes on.

But it’s not all bad news

Unlike a lot of the world’s other problems, food waste is something that you can make a difference about with your everyday actions. A little bit of planning and some dedicated effort can put a big impact in your personal food waste. Small steps from everyone can end up making a big difference!

And if you’ve not already got with the program to reduce food waste, April is a great month to start making new habits. This month sees both Earth Day (22 April) and Stop Food Waste Day (29 April), so get on board!

Simple steps to reduce your food waste

If you’re feeling a little bit of eco-guilt, it’s time to take action. You don’t have to do it all and you can build up the changes you make over time. After all, lots of people taking imperfect action is a lot more powerful than a small handful being the perfect eco-evangelist.

Here’s some simple steps you can implement at home to start putting a dent in your food waste:

  • Plan your meals: Woolworths has a handy meal planner on its website that can help or involve the family and get everyone to nominate a meal for the week.

  • Love your freezer: If you have bought too much or have leftovers you won’t eat in a couple of days, your freezer is your friend. You can grab a set of plastic containers with your next shop so you can portion easily. More foods are freezer-friendly than you might think too!

  • Use your leftovers: Leftovers are a saviour for busy families. Use up extra veggies in a frittata or soup; heat up last night’s dinner for lunch; or nominate a dedicated night as ‘leftovers night’ to both give yourself a night off and encourage a bit of kitchen creativity to create a meal out of all those odds and ends.

  • Buy only what you need: Shopping to a list helps you to avoid buying too much. Shopping at bulk foods stores like Naked Foods is also a great idea – instead of buying a 500 gram pack of something, you can just get the 150 grams your recipe requires.

  • Embrace the ugly and imperfect: A lot of food gets rejected before it even reaches the shelf. You can play a part to reduce this by buying things like Woolworths The Odd Bunch range which has saved millions of kilos of fruits and veggies from landfill.