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Reduce food waste today!

Does your household waste food and you might feel a little guilty about it? Great! This is the blog for you. Whether it is huge heaps or even what seems to be a 'harmless' amount, there are always ways we can reduce food waste in this world.

First of all, what is food waste? Food waste or food loss is food that is not eaten. The causes of food waste or loss are numerous and occur throughout the food system, during production, processing, distribution, retail and consumption. Global food loss and waste amount to between one-third and one-half of all food produced. Statistics show that roughly 1/3 of bought produce is thrown away by a household. Do you find that shocking? Or is that an expected figure?

Here are a few of my top tips to reduce food waste in any household.

Before we dive into how to get creative with foods and uncommonly used food scraps let's discuss how to eliminate throwing out whole cartons of milk, blocks of cheese and entire aubergines.

Its quite simple - plan your meals weekly. Dedicate a 10 minute slot every week to sit and discuss with your house mates, parents, partner or whoever you're living with what foods you need to buy to prepare the meals you have planned out (click here for a weekly meal planner template). Once you have created a shopping list, stick to it. Of course we all go off track sometimes and throw in some extra goodies but under no circumstances... go shopping hungry. Science has proven that you WILL spend more money and buy more food than what you set out to buy. These 2 simple tips already can help reduce food waste in this world.

Now lets jump into getting creative when it comes to the end of the week, you look into your fridge and you see half a courgette, some leftover pasta, an egg and some yoghurt (basically a bunch of random foods). I'm going to give you some tips on how to save some foods from heading straight to the bin! I simply googled the most thrown away foods worldwide and these are the results I got!

1. Bread. Over 240 million slices of bread are chucked away every year but there is so many delicious things you can do with stale bread! You can dice it, put it in the oven and have your very own homemade croutons! Another idea is a bread pudding - simple, cheap and easy to make. Breadcrumbs is another suggestion - a staple that lasts months.

2. Milk. Around 5.9 million glasses of milk are poured down the sink every year, but it's so easy to use it up. You can make pancakes for everyone in the morning and even pancakes last a few days in the fridge so there's breakfast sorted! You can make a yummy post-lunch smoothie or even a smoothie bowl.

3. Potatoes. We discard 5.8 million potatoes each year. Those potatoes that have eyes on them that put you off - plant them! Those eyes are key to planting delicious potatoes. Don't have a garden? Research a local community patch and even donate them to the garden centre because at the end of the day, it is providing more food!

4. Cheese. I personally am a huge fan of cheese so it would get eaten before I need to get creative but for those who need a few ideas - make a cheese sauce. It can be a béchamel for lasagne, or a cheese sauce for mac and cheese or cauliflower and cheese, whatever you're into to. Best part? You can freeze it and use it whenever you want!

5. Apples. Apples are such a common fruit and can rot quickly so its no wonder that this food item is in the top 5. However, this is such a versatile fruit. Apples can be used to make both sweet and savoury dishes. Anything from sautéed apples with pork chops/vegetarian sausages to apple pies or even adding some stewed apples to your morning porridge. Many you or your kids just don't fancy the peels (which have more nutrients than the fruit by the way). Candying peels is a fun and delicious way to use them up! How about making some apple chips as a healthy snack? Or even feeding some wild rabbits in your garden.

Whichever creative idea you choose or come up no matter the food item, you are reducing food waste in a world where mass hunger is still a catastrophic issue so give yourself a pat on the back!

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