Nobody willingly throws money away, and yet every day we are all doing it. What am I talking about? Food waste.
France has just made it illegal for supermarkets to destroy unsold food.
In the EU last year a staggering 89million tonnes of food were dumped! The average Irish household is binning between €400-€1000 worth of food each year.
Nearly 42% of this was from households that's you and me. Only 5% was from supermarkets, the rest was from food and drink manufacturers and the food service sector.
It is a massively positive change that French supermarkets have now to take action. What can we do to reduce our food waste and save money? Here are 5 tips.
Plan. (Make a list of what you are going to cook for the week)
Buy less. (make a list of what you need)
Cook less. (figure out portion size, a cup is a useful measure)
Cook more and freeze.
Make soup and freeze.
(Rehome a pig! Or some hens)
It sounds simple and it is, but it takes a little bit of organisation (and to be fair who can account for the random and unpredictable eating habits of children!)
Making a plan for the week is key, Jenny my wife is great at this, she has the meals that work for us and the children on the fridge and these are planned for different days. Ok, so we have it easy and don't really have to think too much about what veg to buy. Even so the plan helps reduce stress, reduce waste and make things run a lot smoother.
One of the massive benefits of getting a regular weekly delivery from us is not only does it encourage you to eat more fruit and veg it give you a huge incentive to plan your meals. You can check out the contents of each box for the following week online every Friday and plan accordingly. We always add recipes to help with unusual items that may be in the box and we have a fantastic recipe section on our website to help you if you are stuck for ideas.
Buy Less. Supermarkets are a necessary part of our landscape. We complain about them but we would struggle to survive without them. However, they are extremely skilled at encouraging us to impulse buy stuff we really don't need. Leave the impulse buy items on the shelf, you don't need them.
One of the fantastic benefits of ordering online is that you can do it when you want and in the peace and solitude of your own home, you can take time to think and plan the food you need for the week and you can order exactly what you need and no more.
Cook less. Our children were sick this weekend and we kept the food very plain but in an effort to get them to eat anything at all, I found myself cooking different things and giving them more than they could eat, invariably they ate very little.
In general we can all function on less food than we think. If we give ourselves a little break before starting into the next helping, then we may find we are actually full. For anybody trying to lose weight or reduce food intake, a very simple but effective step is to put less food on the plate and eat at a slower pace. (Call it mindful eating)
It is fantastic to think that amid all the chaos that is our lives, we all still strive to be better people and to do the right thing. Sometimes we need a little encouragement, when it comes to food, little changes in what we buy, how we buy, and how we eat can have a really big impact on how we feel and on our little planet.
Trying to eat less. (Not always succeeding!)