Or should I say, New Year, old resolutions? I must admit I tend to repeat some resolutions every year as they often drop off my list before the summer has begun. But there is one very important resolution worth trying and sticking to: reducing food waste at home and at work.
According to the FAO1, about one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — is lost or wasted.
The food currently wasted in Europe could feed 200 million people. And according to World Hunger2, the current loss and waste of all food produced for human consumption would be just enough to feed the nearly one billion people who go to bed hungry every night.
These facts certainly make you think about how much food people throw away daily in homes, restaurants and supermarkets. In fact, since the day I decided to live a more sustainable lifestyle, avoiding food waste is an integral part of my family’s agenda.
Take bread, for example. How much bread do you throw away every week? What could you do to avoid wasting bread? Here are few tips I put into practice at home:
- Freeze the amount of bread you think you won’t consume during the next two days
- Use leftovers as a thickener for soup or stew
- Make croutons for your salads
- Make a delicious bread pudding
We can all find good ways to reduce food waste both at home and at work. Zero-waste guru Bea Johnson manages to live a zero-waste life (don’t hesitate to read her book “Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying your life”… it’s amazing!). I personally don’t manage a fully zero-waste lifestyle, even though I would like to. But I do try to follow the concept as much as I can.
Here are some rules I follow when it comes to food waste:
- Shop smart: Plan meals and write a list of things you need before you go to the supermarket. Doing so, you will avoid impulsive buys.
- When unpacking groceries, move older products to the front of the fridge and put new ones at the back.
- Observe what you throw away on a regular basis. Should you keep buying it over and over again? A good tip is to freeze food items before they are no longer fresh or pleasant to eat.
- Leftovers also taste good! Take them to work or simply eat them for dinner after a busy day. Who doesn’t love opening the fridge and finding some leftover pasta from the night before? If you’re worried about the fact that leftovers lose a little of their nutrients, just add some vegetables and you’re good to go!
- “Food for all” at work: choose one dedicated “corner” in the kitchen and a couple of shelves in the fridge at work where everyone can leave leftovers to be shared with other employees. Are you leaving on holidays and still have some food from lunch time? Leave it for your colleagues. A dedicated cabinet and fridge shelf for all employees is a great way to avoid food waste at work.
Living a sustainable lifestyle is good for you and good for the planet! Reducing food waste is probably one of the best resolutions one can have. And believe me, it’s easy to achieve!
Happy New Year! Good luck with your resolutions!
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