We are back with the second part of our sustainable eating series. Tip number two in the sustainable eating guide is:
Make the most of the food you buy
Did you know that in the UK the average family throws away 30% of the food they buy? That’s like getting £100 and just throwing £30 away. Nuts right? We know food waste isn’t great for our wallets, but exactly how is it bad for the environment?
There’s a huge amount of energy that goes into growing our food. It takes loads of resources such as land, water, labour, energy, manufacturing, packaging etc. So, wasting food is like throwing all that hard work in the bin. Then when food starts to decompose without access to oxygen, it creates methane – which is 23x more deadly than CO2. Yikes. And that’s before we think about the fact that so much food is wasted when much of the world goes hungry.
But we know how hard it is when we have busy lives and sometimes we just don’t get around to getting through everything before the dreaded use by date crops up. And if, like us, that ends up being super annoying (and expensive) – fear not. We’ve got some super easy habits to get into to make the most of your weekly shop so you can protect the planet and your wallet.
Tip one? Bulk cook. This can be done once a week, fortnight or month, whatever works for you. So, you do one big shop and spend one day cooking and then whack everything in the freezer and – voila – faff-free, planet-friendly, healthy meals ready to go when you are. Simply reheat and eat.
Bulk cooking not for you? Plan out your weekly meals and get that list ready before you hit the shop. This is a great way to make the most out of what you buy because you can see exactly how much you need for the week and make sure it all gets used. Plus you have to spend less time in the actual food shop because you know exactly what you’re looking for. There’s also less chance of just throwing random things in the trolley because you’ve gone food shopping when you are hungry (don’t lie we know we all do it).
And what about the actual food itself? There’s a surprising amount of perfectly edible produce that we throw away. From broccoli stalk pesto to carrot top salads, we love @maxlamanna for some great, zero-waste and vegan recipes inspo.
So get your food-planning hat and bulk-cooking gloves on and save yourself both time and money. The planet’ll be pretty happy too.
Alex’s top tip: Spinach looking a little limp? Pop it in the blender with some water and pour the blended up mixture out into ice cube trays. Freeze, and bingo – perfect spinach blocks to add some healthy greens to your next smoothie.