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Festive Season Food Waste Reduction Tips

Table Spread

Reduce Food Choices

If you are hosting an event, prevent over-catering by reducing food choices. This doesn’t mean your family and friends will leave your dinner hungry; its really about us humans not overfilling our plates (because isn’t it good manners to have a taste of everything!).

In general our eyes are always, like my Nana used to say, “too big for your stomach”.

Small Shopping Bag

Buy less more frequently.

Food can go off pretty quickly. And is also liable to hide itself behind a few jars of pickle at the back of the bottom shelf in your fridge.

So plan your meals and buy according to the plan – don’t buy for those “just maybe and in case and what if” imaginary cases. There’s always a store open near you.

Planning LIst

Plan and implement

Men shouldn’t shop! Research has shown that they are less likely to stick to a plan than women (and they’re also terrible at making lists). Write down a shopping list and stick to it.

Fresh Spinach

Buy Local and Buy Seasonal

Not only will you be supporting your local farmer and manufacturer but you also will reduce waste. The fact is that the further food travels the higher the wastage along the way.

Buying food that is in season generally means that it is local. Non-seasonal food comes from somewhere else and thus has a larger waste factor attached (not to mention the carbon footprint of the transportation itself).

Food Storage

Get your storage right

That old takeaway in its loose fitting polystyrene shell is not going to keep your chips ready for lunch the next day.

Purchase appropriate containers (preferably glass with silicon lids which can be reused again and again). And also store in the right place. The modern fridge has been designed to store food for longer periods of time – but only in the appropriate sections.

Stock Pot

Get creative with leftovers

In our household we always over-cook stews and curries. For us, these type of foods are better the next day, and are also easily frozen. We are also surprised at how few people make stock – this is the best, pre composting, use of waste vegetable off-cuts, bones and that old chicken carcass.

Before you even create the menu, think ahead how you can preserve your leftovers and create these new meals? There are numerous online websites offering fabulous creative ideas for repurposing leftovers.

The last resort: compost your food waste

As a last resort, once you’ve reduced and reused, you can compost your food waste. Food waste is a valuable resource for soil and composting this using bokashi and/or a worm farm enables you to recycle all your food waste back into plant available nutrients for your soil.

Bokashi composting is not your normal composting as you can also add cooked and uncooked meat, small bones, sea food and dairy. Ultimately it allows you to compost much more waste generated in your home which, ordinarily, would not be suitable for the compost heap. It is a fermentation system where food waste is layered in closed bins with a microbe mix (“bokashi”). The microbes activate and ferment the food waste. After fermentation, food waste can be trenched under soil, composted with garden waste, or fed to earthworms.

Bokashi can also be used on your December holidays if you are going away camping, or to a self-catering venue to manage your food waste. Campers, caravanners, and self-caterers are constantly faced with struggles on managing their food waste in a clean and non-smelly way.


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