How to reduce your food waste

In South Norfolk and Broadland, we have found that wasted food is one of the main items being thrown away in general waste bins, with a large amount still in its packaging.

Reducing the amount of wasted food that you throw away can help you save money and slow down climate change!

In the UK around 6.5 million tonnes of food is thrown away every year, of which 4.5 million tonnes could have been eaten.

If global food waste were a country, it would be third largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China and the US, according to Love Food, Hate Waste, and FoodSavvy estimate that the average family in Norfolk and Suffolk could save around £730 through reducing wasted food. 

Food waste getting you down?

A sad packet of ham crying over food waste

Here's some top tips to help you reduce wasted food

  1. Smart Shopping - Buy loose fruit and vegetables to help with portion sizes, plan for batch cooking and freezing, don’t get drawn into the buy one get on free offers unless you will use it or can donate the spare item.
  2. Plan your meals - Plan a few meals in advance and make a note so you can stick to it. Base meals on items that you already have in the kitchen too.  If your arrangements change, roll the meal over to later in the week if possible or if needed freeze food or donate.
  3. Use a shopping list - Make a list for you to use in store and online supermarket shopping. Only buy the items you have written down.  
  4. Rotate food in cupboards and fridges - Keep an eye on what items are in your cupboards, fridge and freezer and rotate them as needed. Eat things before the go past their use by dates.
  5. Use correct storage methods - Store items based on the instructions written on the packaging. For fruit and vegetables look at these top tips 
  6. Know your dates
    1. Use by - Do not eat food when it has gone past its use by date as this can potentially have health risks. Items can be frozen up until the day of this date. 
    2. Best before - Food can be eaten afterwards with no health risk as it relates to when the food is at its best quality, for example dried pasta could be eaten 3 years after its best before date and biscuits 3 months. 
    3. Display until/ sell by - Ignore these dates they are for supermarkets only and do not relate to the quality of the food.
  7. Love your freezer & batch cooking.
  8. Donate unopened food before it goes out of date - Please make sure you check any requirements before dropping anything off or donating.  
    1. Food drop off points at supermarkets
    2. Food banks 
    3. Community fridges 
    4.  Olio app 
  9. Too good to go app - Businesses can sign up and sell reduced priced bags of food to customers that collect before it goes to waste

Links to other sites