It’s no secret that much of the food we buy goes into the bin, whether through peelings or as gone off produce. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, more than 250,000 tonnes of food waste is produced here per year, costing each household €700 annually – and with the price of groceries ever-rising lately, that’s even more money that we could be saving.
FoodCloud, which works to create a world where no good food goes to waste, has shared some tips on saving food from the bin.
The first step is in your local shop. Before you fill your trolley with special offers and buy-one-get-one-free deals, make a list so you won’t buy more than you can possibly use or those ‘money saving’ deals will be a waste of your income. Having a meal plan in mind for the week or month ahead is crucial so you know what you will be eating and, importantly, exactly what you need to create it.
Once you bring your shopping home, make sure you give it the best chance possible. Store your food correctly in your kitchen, whether that’s in airtight container, in your freezer or elsewhere. When you store your food in the right way, it will give you more time to use it. Your freezer can be your best friend here too. You can freeze some products, like bread, meat, etc. Make sure you read any packaging for advice on whether it is suitable for freezing. You can also batch cook meals and freeze those – simply mark the date you cooked and froze them.
Maybe you only needed half an onion in a recipe, or you have more tomatoes than you need. In this case, get creative and try something new to save those items from the bin. You can have fun with recipes and find something you’ll like just as much as – if not more than – your usual go-to meals. Visit irishexaminer.com/ieFood for hundreds of recipes from our cooks and columnists, you can even search the database for recipes using specific ingredients.
When you peel your potatoes, do you dump the skin? If you said yes, you’re throwing away some of the best bits. You can give those potato peels a second chance by making delicious homemade crisps. Vegetable scrap, peels and leftover herb stems can make a great stock base for your dishes and you can also use peel from citrus fruits, apples and cucumber to add flavour to water. Many fruits have a very short expiry date, so if you find some turning ripe add those fruit and vegetables to a smoothie for a healthy and tasty boost in the morning.