For months and months the idea to use my blogs to promote reducing food waste was brewing in my mind. Finally, back in October, I started a monthly linked called Clear Out And Eat (#ClearOutAndEat).
The thinking behind the title is that we should clear out our fridges and presses and see what we have before buying in more and more food. There is almost always something that can be made with the food we have. From soups to stews, smoothies and scones, with a bit of thought and creativity we can use up what we have and bin less food.
People have become so accustomed to having choice and to doing whatever they feel like that the idea of waste not, want not has been pretty much forgotten. In a report a few years I read that the Germans throw away over 20% of their food purchases due to poor planning*. I mean, THE GERMANS! If their planning is poor, how bad is everyone else’s?
Speaking of want not, yesterday I spotted on Twitter that Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has a new series on the BBC called Hugh’s War on Waste. It started last Monday, apparently, with a look at the staggering quantity of food that is wasted in the UK each year (1/3 of the food!**) and continues tonight at 9pm GMT. Look up #wastenot on Twitter for information from the series.
It sickens me that so much food is wasted. So what if we haven’t got the food we want in the house? Is that reason enough to let dairy products pass their use by date and or let fruit and vegetables shrivel up and rot? No!.
So I urge you to be a bit more careful when shopping and cooking. Use a bit of common sense. Buy what you know you’ll use. Cook with what you have and only cook the amount you’ll eat. If there are leftovers, freeze them for another day or reinvent them as another dish for the followng day.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
French supermarket Intermarche is doing its part for food waste reduction by selling the vegetables that usually wouldn’t have met the criteria that the large supermarket chains set for growers***. They have made a point of promoting these so-called ugly vegetables. The idea is brilliant, although I must admit that I hate the term ugly vegetables. In fruit and vegetables, looks shouldn’t be important, rather the nutritional value.
* Source www.handelsblatt.com
** Source www.bbc.co.uk
*** Source www.intermarche.com