Food waste: 5 easy ways to stop it!

Falafel Salad. Yum! Photo Credit: Author.

France, Rumania, Italy. All these countries already introduced laws to stop food waste and fine supermarkets that throw away food. Why does it take so long for other European countries to follow?

The richer the country, the higher the food waste. Sadly, this is very true. 491,000 tons of food has been thrown away in Austria last year, all of which could have been still used. Looking at Europe, its about 174 kilos (!) per person. It’s not just the Western world where food is being wasted, even in third world countries. It’s mostly due to storage problems (false temperature) or failed harvest.

Food is keeping our bodies alive, so it is of very great importance you would think. Apparently, not. Hardly any politician cares about it, simply because its not about money, it’s about people. So what can we do besides demonstrate and try to attract some attention to the subject?

Freeze things

I have perfected this craft over the years ❀ Sometimes I cook way too much and just put it in the freezer and save it for days when Im overcome by laziness. You can nearly freeze anything, hell even bananas! If you freeze bread, cut them into slices before so you can simply take them out separately, same goes for vegetables.

Food Sharing Community

Share food with your community! Photo Credit: Author.

Communities, what a wonderful thing. Thanks to the internet you can meet all kinds of people online, also food sharing communities. Check out the Facebook groups online, there’s a high chance there is one for your city or area. Plus, sometimes you can swap all kinds of things on there: sharing and caring is the key ❀

Dumpster Diving

Dumpster Diving is a very effective way to stop food waste. Have you ever tried it? Photo Credit: angelatchou (Flickr)
Dumpster Diving is a very effective way to stop food waste. Have you ever tried it? Photo Credit: angelatchou (Flickr)

First off, this a grey area. Illegal in an economic sense but not in a moral sense. You just look into supermarkets containers of waste and go ‘fishing’ for food. Sometimes you find tons of bananas (banana bread yay) or lots of bread and vegetables. Its a lottery really. Some supermarkets started to put locks on their containers so people can’t access them any more, so be careful and watch out for cameras.

Chopping Parties

Invite your friends, family or complete strangers and throw a food chopping party! Never heard of it? It’s a pretty cool concept: people come together, bring their left overs and listen to cool music while they cook together. Who knew saving the environment could be so much fun?! πŸ™‚

Plan ahead/ Write a shopping list

It’s all about planning! Think ahead, what do you really need? Are you going away for the weekend? Shop less! And most importantly: do not go food shopping when you’re hungry, you will always end up with more stuff in your basket. Also, always check your fridge before heading to the supermarket. Maybe you find stuff that was in there for a while and is already expired.

Simply smell and follow your intuition. Just because it has ‘officially’ gone off, doesn’t mean you actually have to throw it away, simply ignore the expiry date (except for fish or meat). But things such as Yoghurt is still OK 4 weeks after its expiry date. Still not sure? Check out this website which offers guidance on how long your food really lasts.

So think twice before throwing anything away! πŸ™‚