The issue of food waste has been high on the agenda for some years now.
Back in 2016, ‘wonky veg’ became a headline news item as consumers realised how much perfectly edible produce was being turned down by supermarkets because of tough size and appearance standards.
Then, earlier this year, Morrison’s announced it was scrapping use by dates on milk bottles, replacing them with less stringent ‘best before’ dates and leaving it to consumer judgement to determine whether their milk had gone off. With 100 million pints of milk being thrown down the drain each year*, it’s a step in the right direction.
And with prices rising, and the cost of living an ever-present worry for many, reducing food waste is as economically important as environmentally essential.
As the leading food and drink agency, we’re forever looking for ways to address key industry issues, not to mention improve our CSG and carbon footprint (read more on that here) and so we’ve rounded up some of the best tips around to help reduce waste in the kitchen.
1 – The egg test
Eggs knocking around in the fridge? Test to see if they sink or float. Eggs that sink to the bottom of a cup of water are fresh enough for consumption. If an egg floats, air has permeated the shell and it is no longer fresh.
2 – Coffee grounds
The smell of freshly ground coffee is one of life’s simple pleasures, but the used grounds are also excellent for compost and home-grown veggies. Add them into soil to benefit from the essential nutrient nitrogen.
3 – Think about storage
A number of fruits – bananas being the most culpable – release ethene as they ripen. This gas increases the rate at which surrounding produce in the fruit bowl ripens, often causing it to spoil prematurely. Store bananas separately to keep fruit fresh for as long as possible.
4 – Refresh bread
Day-old French stick or slightly stale loaf? Run it under the tap briefly and then pop it in the oven for a couple of minutes – it’ll come out as good as new.
5 – Donate
On a bigger scale, edible food that’s marked as surplus could have a hugely positive impact on charities across the UK, thanks to organisations like FareShare, who redistribute leftover food to charities and turn it into meals.