World Food Day - How To Reduce Your Food Waste At University
Food waste is the worst. Not only is it bad for your student pockets, but it’s also terrible for the environment. Food waste is a bad habit that needs breaking.
With 14 percent of all food globally produced being lost, it’s pretty horrific to think how much we’re all actually outing in the bin. That, combined with the water, resources and shipping it takes to distribute the food to stores, it’s clear to see how a small reduction in personal food waste can have a huge environmental impact.
World Food Day is on the 16th October, and what better time than to take stock of your bad habits and help the planet.
If you adopt our hints and tips for reducing your food waste at uni, your personal carbon footprint could dramatically decrease!
It’s not that hard and they’ll probably make your life even easier in the long run.
1. Meal Plans
Planning your meals is key to reducing waste. Our useful recipes can provide some much needed inspo if you want to avoid eating the same three meals each week.
Even a basic plan for your evening meals means you only buy what you need and don’t get caught in the trap of having rogue ingredients lying in the back of the fridge.
Having a shopping list is also pretty handy. It’s scientifically proven you’re less susceptible to impulse purchases- good for the earth and your wallet.
2. Batch Cooking
Batch cook all those beautiful ingredients as soon as you buy them.
Lock in the freshness, make mountains of food and then freeze it up portion by portion.
Not only will your future self love you, but there is also ZERO waste as you’re going to eat all that food eventually… or immediately because it is so damn delicious.
We don’t judge here. Check our easy batch cooking recipes to get the creative juices flowing.
3. Shop Weekly
The biggest trap, and the main reason for food waste, is overshopping. Shopping weekly means you only buy what you need.
While you could have super great intentions doing the whole shop for the month, you’re unlikely to be able to batch cook and store so much food.
Weekly shops immediately reduce the amount of food available to be wasted.
OR, why not skip the shopping and simply opt for a subscription service such as recipe boxes? They literally only bring the ingredients you need for your meals, saving sooo much on food waste!
Is sad celery getting you down? Sprouting potatoes more fright than frites? Limp carrots reminding you of your ex? Never fear we have the perfect solution to all your problems…SOUP!
You don’t need a soup maker or any fancy kitchen equipment to make soup. Simply boil your undesirable veg until soft and then blend or mash until a… well soupy consistency and season to your liking.
Everything can go into a soup- peas, carrots, potatoes, broccoli, even cheese. Just get adventurous with it, see what you find in your fridge and give it a stir. Pro tip – sing the soup song whilst making soup
Curry is the ultimate weapon in the fight against food waste. Your first task is to head down to your local international shop and grab cumin, garam masala, ginger and coriander.
With these spices, you now have all you need to make delicious curries at the drop of a hat.
Curry is super versatile and the spices do all the heavy lifting. You can throw anything in your pot with these beautiful spices and you’ll have a heavenly dinner.
Pro tip – keep coconut milk and chopped tomatoes regularly stocked along with your spices for a functional, hardworking larder.
Who doesn’t love a takeaway! Tasty food prepared for you by someone else, what’s not to love?
The problems with takeaways are the price and the guilt of knowing you have food at home!
Thanks to the TooGoodTooGo app, your takeaway doesn’t have to hit your pocket or your conscience.
The app allows restaurants to advertise surplus food for low, low prices which would otherwise be thrown away. So now there is no excuse not to have that takeaway right?
7. Check The Date
This starts in the shop. Check the dates before you buy to make sure you’re giving yourself enough time to actually eat your food.
Nobody needs to eat two full iceberg lettuce in two days. Out of curiosity, is lettuces the plural of lettuce? Get in touch and let us know because clearly, we need help.
8. Storing Food Properly
Putting your food in the section of the fridge can mean it goes off sooner than it should.
Reduce your food waste by making sure you’re storing your food correctly. Get your dried food (pasta, rice, cereal) in airtight containers, dairy in the fridge and root vegetables in cool dry cupboards.
Don’t fall into the trap that the fridge is the right place for all food. Some food spoils more quickly in the fridge.
Pro-tip – move the earliest dates to the front of the cupboard or fridge so you are more likely to use them first.
9. The Freezer is Your Friend
It may seem obvious, but we feel it needs to be said again. You can freeze all the food you want and still use it to cook to the same effect.
Those fresh herbs you didn’t get round to using in time? Chop them, freeze them and drop them into your dish at a later date.
Is that chicken close to the use-by date and you’re going out tonight? Freeze that bad boy for later.
Pro tip – slice and freeze your fruits for a natural bite-sized sorbet they are also great for blending into your morning smoothies.
10. Use By or Best Before
It’s a common misconception that food cannot be eaten after the Best Before dates. In reality, the date you need to pay attention to on food is the Use By one.
If this date has passed, it’s likely unsafe to eat. With the Best Before dates, there is more room for discretion.
Essentially, if the food looks and smells okay, you should be good to eat it.
Try one of these tips out for World Food Day and you’ll start a new habit for life.