We live in a world of fast fashion, fast food, fast relationships and everything that is fast and convenient, however not necessary good for us or the environment or even our finance!
We buy products quickly, without planning and thinking if we actually need it. Then we very quickly forget what we have in the fridge and freezer and before we even have a chance to cook something out of it, it is usually to late and we just throw it away. I am not going to teach you about all the starving kids in the world that would make anything to get the food we waste, I suppose we all have common sense and know the situation in the world. I will however teach you how to prevent food waste and using every bit of food that we get and pay for. Yes, you’ve heard right EVERY BIT!
It is estimated that 71% of food waste in the UK comes from households rather than manufactures, wholesalers or retailers. This means that most of the power is in OUR hands to prevent food waste problem and do something about it.
In this post I will show you how to reuse, use, and prevent wastage of top 10 most wasted food in the UK.
It is estimated that we waste 3 billion slices of bread and bread rolls a year!
What to do to prevent bread waste?
- Freeze – this is obviously the easiest option. Every bread type and every bun is suitable for freezing. After short time of taking them out of the freezer they are fresh as just taken out of the oven.
- Dry – put slices of bread or bun onto the window sill and let it dry, then just grate it or blend in blender to make breadcrumbs which then can be easily used while cooking.
- Toast it – even a bit dry bread is great for toast!
- French toasts – this is what my dad used to make for breakfast when we were kids whenever we had stale bread at home. We were never, ever wasting bread!
- Croutons – just perfect solution when you had a bit of stale bread.
I am sure you have before (probably not once and not twice) poured the milk into your coffee or cereals just to spot that it has gone off. From now on you should never ever pour it down the drain when you spot it.
Before you get excited please mind that there are a few types of milk being sold in supermarkets nowadays; heavily pasteurised and standard pasteurised mild. You do not want to use the first one when it has gone off, you should not use it at all if I am honest, whether it is off or not. The latter however, will be great when sour for making home made cheese, cooking or baking. Use your smell sense to asses whether the sour milk is usable or not. Heavily pasteurised milk will stink horribly when opened and you’ll now it is rotten so you cannot save it. But the standard pasteurised milk will have a bit sourer smell and will be getting a bit thicker and curdled – this is when you can used it for the following ideas:
- cottage (paneer as known in Indian cuisine) cheese
- baking in general
I mean how can anyone manage to waste potatoes? Correctly stored they can last months. Where I come from, we would harvest potatoes in September/ October and keep them in a cellar (dry, dark and fairly cold place) up until next harvest. The smallest potatoes would have been used to plant new ones for next year.
Depending on whether we talk about raw potatoes or cooked ones you’ve got pleeeeeny of options to use them up rather than waste.
- try to plant them (if it is the right time of the year)
- grate and make hash browns
- cut into chips and freeze for later
- mashed potatoes can be easily frozen in small portions so you can take it out as you wish
- gnocchi (for Italians) or kopytka (for Poles). Best alternative for regular potatoes and great to make if you cooked too much potatoes for yesterday’s dinner and you are about to throw them away. Let me know if you’d like to get the recipe so I will share the best recipe for kopytka that my grandma does
- potato skins with some yumi dip
- loaded skins
This is product that can last long time if you know how to store it properly. If it goes mouldy you just scrape it off and eat the rest. If you have noticed it smells slightly different or got dry on a sides just melt and add some extra spices and you will not even notice that the cheese was not so fresh.
- cheesy dip
- baked cheese crisps
- grate and freeze
- blue cheese dip
Every part of this commonly known fruit is basically usable so it is very easy not to waste anything if it comes to apples. When you see apples going bad you’ve got plenty of options:
- apple mousse
- apple sauce
- apple crumble
- apple peels crisps
- apple tea
- apple cider vinegar (apple cores)
- freeze apple peels and add to your smoothies later
- apple liquor (add some cinnamon and it’ll make perfect home made Christmas gift)
As with everything, you need to use all your senses (including the common one) to asses whether it is save to eat particular product. As per NHS website: “Best before” dates appear on a wide range of frozen, dried, tinned and other foods. “Best before” dates are about quality, not safety. When the date is passed, it doesn’t mean that the food will be harmful, but it might begin to lose its flavour and texture.
Moreover, storage of food is the key! If you would like to find out how to store particular products to extend their freshness and prevent them from going bad for longer, please comment down below.
If you have any more ideas on how to prevent food wasting please share in the comments section so we can all tackle this problem! 🙂