Did you know that over 1 million tonnes of food waste in Ireland according to stop food waste Ireland. That equates to each person throwing out over 80kg of food each year. Last year, 7 million tonnes in the UK!
According to the Food and Agriculture organisation at the UN, approximately 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted every year.
Food waste not only is wasteful, but it costs us a lot of money, from food purchased to then dealing with the waste.
At Rucksnacks, we have something planned to make a positive change. We are all about zero waste so we are teaming up with a charity, providing healthy snacks to those who need it the most, but more about this at a later date.
At our own home, we are making a few changes too which are pretty easy to implement and follow. We don’t get it right all the time but we are getting better. I have summarised our tips below, feel free to add any comments or share our post.
Tips for Smoothies:
The majority of us have some sort of blender or smoothie maker but how often do you use it? Does it sit in the back of a press gathering dust?
Get some re-sealable bags in the supermarket and always have them in the press. Vegetables, like spinach and kale, lend themselves to freezing. Others work too, but those two are my favourite.
For fruit, if think you won’t use some fruit you purchased, just slice it up, and put a mixture into a sealable bag. For example, you are going away for a weekend, so slice all fruit you have and freeze it. You can also freeze some of your favourites such as berries.
So when you are short on time, go to your freezer and you have a great fruit/vegetable smoothie ready to go.
To improve the flavour, I keep a fresh mint plant. Simply, purchase a small mint plant at a supermarket or garden store, re-pot it into larger pot, and place in window cill in sunny position. Place a container or some kind under the mint pot to retain water. Mint is one of the easiest to keep and smells great too! See image below of my mint plant neatly stored on a sunny cill indoors.
Tip for Avoiding food waste:
Now we have covered smoothies, what about other food groups. First off, spring clean – I bet you have out of date stuff in your home. Lets make a fresh start and clean out.
Plan your weekly cooking routine. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks. Put a lot of thought into foods that will go off quickly, like meat. Make a list and use it every week. Create section on your list, for regular purchases and then occasionally stuff you might need. Always stock up on snacks with longer shelf life, which can be stored ambient, like Rucksnacks.
Un-avoidable food waste tips:
OK, so some items like banana skins are unavoidable waste items. If you are an urban dwelling, most places have a recycling bin collection service. However, if you want to make your own compost or don’t have access to a convenient food recycling, this is what we do at Rucksnacks. We use a small bin in our house, put all compostable material into the bin (fruit/veg peelings, paper, egg shells, coffee grindings, tea bags etc..). We then use a compost bin to eventually turn it into our own compost to use on our veg patch! We made our own compost bin, but you can purchase ready made bins of DIY stores, here are some more tips on composting. Two tips I picked up, you don’t need any compost accelerator or anything fancy, just try to get a good mix of items into your compost bin. Carefully consider position and ensure its pest proof, you don’t want to introduce any problems, so position is well away from house in suitable location – again your local DIY store or Garden Store can advise you more.
Now there is always someone pushing the limits, like Lauren who produced zero waste in two years. Impressive stuff and takes a lot of dedication. While not everyone can be as good, we can all aspire to make a change so anything small to reduce food waste, and waste in general, is positive my opinion.
Now we are busy getting ready for food fairs and events as it is the season for them! They are coming thick and fast, if you see one locally be sure to attend and chat to food owners. We are all passionate about what we do and have put a lot of effort into it so love talking to people! You can pick up some real tasty food as well, make sure you pick up a pack of Rucksnacks! My tip for food fairs is to bring an empty bag – better still an empty back pack, so you can put all your purchased in and avoids having to carry several different bags around!
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