Let’s all stop wasting food. Now.

Vegetables and sandals

At least once a week I find myself chucking something out of the fridge that’s gone off. A bit of left-over coleslaw, a limp courgette, a forgotten-about-mouldy-stuck-at-the-back bag of salad leaves (I KNOW that’s not just me)… and every time, I feel guilty.

Guilty that I didn’t eat it, guilty that I forgot about it, guilty that there are so many in this country that don’t have enough food and guilty that I’m contributing to the ever-growing pile of food waste that this country generates. And it’s a very, very big pile.

Each person in the UK throws away the equivalent of around two and a half meals every week. That’s shocking.

AND every day in UK homes we throw away the equivalent of approximately:

5.8 million whole potatoes

1.4 million whole bananas

1.5 million whole tomatoes

I find this absolutely MIND. BOGGLING.

Blueberries

Blueberries

If you have a few berries left over – why not pop them into some ice cubes!

Celery

If you’ve got a bit of limp celery in the fridge, pop it in some cold water and it will crisp up again!

Bloody Mary

… so why not pop some in a Bloody Mary? ;)

The last time I threw out food, was just before I went on holiday, and I made a silent promise to myself to never do it again. It’s just not ok. And all it requires is for me to be a bit more mindful about what food I buy and when I buy it, and what I can do with it instead of chucking it.

And you would be surprised at what you can create with a couple of old bananas and an end of a cucumber.

I am working with the super duper fantastic folk at Love Food Hate Waste who are re-educating the good people of the UK, one leftover roast potato at a time. They’re on a mission to get peoples’ brains clicking a little differently when it comes to food waste – saving food actually saves money (four flatmates living together could actually save up to £60 a month!) It helps to slow down global warming and deforestation, AND it means less packaging waste too (another huge gripe of mine).

Essentially, if we all make a few little changes and start using up all the food we buy, we can actually make a colossal difference.

When I was at uni living in halls, the food people bought was (erm) eclectic. Some people appeared to be living solely on toast and pasta and others, somehow, had spare cash to buy the odd bit of Port Salut, French bread and wine. (There was always wine).

Love Food Hate Waste

Some of the random contents of my fridge

Cucumber

Yes, I know this looks really unappealing…

Cucumber

… but if you just chop the end off…

Cucumber

… you may find you’re in luck :)

We had a weekly tradition of an Everything Out Lunch (or dinner) which essentially meant that you would empty out your fridge and cupboards, put everything onto the table that needed to be eaten. We’d invite friends from neighbouring halls, who’d also bring their leftovers and half blocks of cheese etc and all of a sudden we’d be dining like kings with our pot luck Everything Out Dinner. It was amazing and where I discovered the most dreadful Norwegian brown cheese. (Which is apparently loved by all Norwegians). (I still can’t eat it).

Red pepper

I always have a selection of half eaten peppers in my fridge

Humous

… and half eaten tubs of humous.

Cottage cheese

Leftover cottage cheese is also usually lurking in my fridge…

I do the same now when I go on a self-catering holiday. Every day we empty the fridge and fill the table with our random and mysterious local shop discoveries, and it means that everything gets eaten. Every. Single. Thing.

The only reason, I think, that I don’t do it at home here in London, is sheer bad habit. I’m lazy. And I’m out and about a lot in the city during the days. And I forget. So, I have pledged to myself for this to stop and I am resurrecting Everything Out Brekky/Lunch/Dinner at least once a week at home, which I am hugely looking forward to! Bring on the crazy combos! It going to be my new London tradition.

If you’re at uni now, you should definitely introduce this to your friends and give it a whirl. It’s social, it’s money saving AND you may get to try something revolting, like I did :)

There are always a few stragglers in my fridge, and I suspect you have them too… but before you chuck these lonely foods out, see if you can come up with a cunning plan to use them in another way. For example, I often have a few loose berries knocking about – I chop them up and pop them in ice cubes! If I’ve got a leftover lemon, I stick it in the freezer to grate over salads/curries/whatever I fancy – this might be my favourite foodie tip ever. Overripe fruit can be whizzed into a smoothie, un-crunchy celery can be chucked into a soup and if you find any other limp veg, pop them into a bowl of cold water and they’ll most likely crisp up again. (They’re usually only limp because of lack of moisture).

Banana

Yep – I know this banana looks brown and bruised…

Porridge

… but you can either chuck it into the freezer for a banana cake, or mash it up into some porridge!

Porridge

Trust me, banana porridge is completely delicious.

Finding new recipes to use up fridge stragglers has also been a bit of a game changer for me. I so often find myself with brown bananas, or half a cucumber… so at the bottom of this post are two recipes that take care of those two culprits!

Come on team, we need to pull together on this one and just do better.

Let’s reduce our waste, switch our minds into the No Waste Gear and take a leaf out of my grandpa’s book, who used to say to me when I was small and we were having dinner:

“Take all you want. But eat all you take”

Clever chap, my grandpa.

EASY PEASY BANANA BREAD

Ingredients:

100g butter, softened
170g caster sugar
2 eggs
2 mashed bananas
225g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp milk

Lightly grease a loaf tin and line with  baking paper. Put all the ingredients into a bowl and beat for a couple of minutes, until all mixed together.

Spoon the mixture into the tin and smooth. Bake for about 1 hour at 180°C, until risen and golden.

Leave to cool  and devour as soon as possible.

 

CUCUMBER, LIME & MINT ICE POPS

Ingredients:

1 medium cucumber, peeled & chopped
2 limes, freshly squeezed
10 mint leaves
1 cup water
170g sugar

In a pan dissolve the sugar in the water over a low heat.

Blitz the cucumber, lime juice, mint leaves, and sugar water in a blender until smooth.

Pour into your lolly moulds and freeze.

For party lollies, you can add a teaspoon of tequila or rum to each popsicle before freezing.  Mojito popsicles a-go-go!


 

This post is sponsored by Love For Hate Waste and all thoughts and opinions are my own. This is something I care deeply about and I’m hoping this post will go some way in spreading the very important message, that it’s time to stop wasting food.

 


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11 thoughts on “Let’s all stop wasting food. Now.

  1. Well I’m happy to say that I very seldom waste food, and anything that I can’t eat I drop off at a local communal compost bin, which is in a small park near to me. I live in a flat now, previously I lived in a bungalow, where I grew veg in the back garden and had my own compost bins. Start off by calculating how much food you will actually need for a week, and if you do have any waste food, then see if there is an allotment near to you that needs compost.

    1. Such a great idea, David. Thanks so much for the comment – I’m going to investigate this asap!

  2. I love this post!! Food waste is something I think about a lot, I can’t bear to throw anything away and as soon as I see things beginning to look a bit sorry for themselves in my fridge, it’s feast time in my house! I think we’re so detached from our food culture in the UK that we don’t know how to deal with ingredients that aren’t perfectly fresh – in Italy, where my partner is from, they have all sorts of ways to use up leftover produce from dried bread to limp carrots. So yeah, great that you’re talking about this and spreading tips (and thank you for reminding me to go and buy cottage cheese!) xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua | Life, Travel, Italy

    1. I think you’re completely right, Lucy. As a nation, we definitely have become detached from the reality of food – where it comes from, how it’s grown etc. I’m so pleased you like the post and thank you for helping me spread the word!

  3. Great suggestions I am absolutely terrible for this. Got into the habbit of just chucking stuff in the freezer before it’s too late but I then forget that it’s in there! Might have to clear out the freezer (by eating it all…) and start a fresh!

    1. Ha ha. I’m exactly the same. At one point I considered having a freezer stock check list! (Ridiculous). I just need to get more ORGANISED!!

  4. I’ll definitely try the banana porridge recipe, that sounds delcicious! I’m guilty of all of the above too I’m afraid… But, at the same time I also try to use as many of the ingredients I’ve bought as well. It takes some planning, but I always feel really good if I’ve an empty fridge at the end of the week – and I haven’t had to chuck anything!

  5. Hello ma’am. You’re doing a wonderful job as a lifestyle and fashion blogger. More power and love to you. I’m a lifestyle blogger, very new to this field. I look up to your posts and admire them a lot.Keep posting. Good luck for everything in life. Thank you.

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