At this moment you might well feel like a waste disposal unit after all of the Christmas fuelled excess. However, real talk, this Christmas an absolutely ridonkulous amount of food will have been wasted. This sadly isn't a one off for the most wonderful time of the year. Food wastage is an absolute shame of our times, and let's be honest, we have all been guilty of it. According to the Guardian, an absolutely stonking 250 million meals are wasted in the UK every year. But what can you do with waste food to help produce the problem.
One fifth of the British population are living in poverty, according to a 2017 study undertaken by the Joseph Rowntree Trust. All that considered, and after you take a breath to recover from the gravity of that statement, there is absolutely zero excuse to be thoughtless with how you ingest and and dispose of food.
TBH the majority of food wastage is done on a corporate scale, by supermarkets throwing away wonky fruit and veg, or items that are just past their sell by date. A 2016 study by WRAP found that 89 percent of food waste happened before it even made it to retail, with the report suggesting half of it was avoidable. A lot of companies are becoming more aware of this, by selling said wonky items at a reduced cost, and selling their barely in date items at considerably reduced price.
Knowing what to do with waste food is largely common sense, however there are some extra little tricks to add to your arsenal when you are trying to live a little more consciously.
As the ancient saying goes "there's an app for that"—and food wastage has got its very own apps. Olio was set up by two crusaders who are fed up of people wasting food, and not even having an option to share it. The way it works is that businesses, farmers, and even individuals, who have left over food items can list them on the app and those in need can get an opportunity to bag a bargain, and prevent food waste.
Similarly, Too Good To Go is an app that allows restaurants to list available left overs which can be purchased around closing time by customers for the very low cost of no more than £4. Hello bargain! Also it allows you to buy a meal for the needy, so lots of opportunities for drunken charitable gestures which I am totally here for.
Apart from apps, there is of course the option of sharing with friends. Think of it as like a clothes swap. Like, you have a huge bag of onions you will never get through, you can go halfsies with a pal.
Shopping is also an issue, with bulk buying and special offers leading to even the savviest home chef accidentally hoarding food like an antichrist in the interest of "saving" 10p and then actually wasting a shedload of food. Shop more sensibly, do not hoard, and if you can — buy local and at shops where you can buy smaller portions that are not wrapped in the dreaded plastic.
But what about the fact that like, wasted bits of food just occur when cooking? Your onion skin, your potato peels? Well if you can, composting is an absolutely brilliant pass time and leaves you with some pretty gorgie compost down the line.
Whatever you do, ensure that when you get food you are not over stocking, that you make use of leftovers, and that you do not throw away good food.