Friday, April 3, 2009

Better food, less waste

Did you know that in the UK, each household throws away around £420 worth of food a year? Not only is this a terrible waste – of food, resources and energy – but plain immoral when other people are going hungry.
A possible small benefit of these economically tough times is that more of us are thinking twice about waste and throwing away our hard-earned cash.
Here’s EcoHip’s top 5 ways to cut down on food waste.

1 Bulk buy

Stock up on staples and things that can be stored for ages (eg, rice, pasta, tins and cartons of orange juice) and then shop as locally as possible for fresh produce. You’re less likely to end up with uneaten 3-for-2 packs of meat and fish or more mandarins than you can humanly eat if you buy what you need, when you need it.

2 Make friends with your freezer

Frozen food doesn’t have to mean oven chips and ice-cream. Do a big home cook-up and then freeze portions of meals, from soups to pasta sauces. If you can tell you’re not going to get through a loaf of bread before it goes stale, bung half in the freezer – especially if it’s already sliced.

3 Help food last longer

Top and tail carrots as soon as you buy them; keep apples in the fridge and store olive oil somewhere cool and dry. A nifty and cheap way to extend the lifespan of fruit and veg in your fridge is buying an EGG, which stands for Ethylene Gas Guardian.
Many fruits and vegetables give off ethylene gas as they ripen, and if they’re in the fridge this gas gets trapped, so the produce starts to rot. The EGG cuts ethylene levels in your fridge, so produce lasts longer. If you're curious about the EGG, it's that stylish blue eggy thing nestling among some fruity friends in the picture above!
You can buy yours from EcoHip (

4 Make meal plans

Previous generations used to have fish on Friday; roast on Sunday. You don’t have to be rigid, but planning ahead means you won’t have that feeling when you get back from the shops of having lots of ‘stuff’ but nothing that makes a meal. You’re also less prone to distracting offers.

5 Love soups

Even in the spring, a hearty soup can hit the spot. And it’s the perfect way to use up bottom-of-the-fridge veggies or chicken leftovers. Stock up on fresh herbs and spices, or ingredients like coconut milk, to vary flavours. What’s more, making a soup is as quick as waiting for a ready meal to cook. The site has plenty of ‘rescue recipes’ for leftovers.

Got any similar tips? Let us know - we'd love to hear your waste-saving ideas.

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