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Food Waste

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Food Waste Facts: 

  • 1 in every 4 shopping bags of food is wasted!
  • The average Irish Household is binning between €400 – €1,000 worth of food per year! 
  • The amount of food wasted could solve world hunger.
  • Food Waste in landfills is the largest producer of carbon emissions!!  (When food and garden materials end up in our landfills they rot underground producing methane a greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide)
  • More than just food is wasted….land, water, energy, fuel, labour, procession, transport costs etc


Top Tips to Decrease your carbon emissions through Food!

  • Reduce food waste
  • Support local
  • Buy Seasonal
  • Eat less meat…emissions
  • Pass it on, educate those around you!

Stopping Food Waste in 6 Simple Steps

1. Get to know your waste

The best way to start reducing food waste is to know what’s being wasted and how!

For one week track all your food waste by putting it is a separate bin. This will identify what’s being wasted most. Now you can make a plan as to how to avoid this waste in the following weeks.

Eg bread? Why? How much are you buying?

If it’s because of serving sizes, put it away for later. Ask for a doggie bag when out!


2. Planning 

Before you shop…PLAN. What are your plans for the week ahead, will you be eating out? Taking lunch to work? What meals will you be cooking? 

Get to know how to use your ingredients! This can be both practical and interesting!

Remember, you don’t need to be a gourmet chef to make the most of your food!


3. Shopping

  • Look in your fridge and cupboards before you shop. 
  • Plan your meals and make a list. Check what you need for school lunches.
  • Think about what’s seasonal and google some recipes (BBC Food is also really helpful!).
  • Don’g go on an empty stomach! Avoid unneeded purchases including bulk deals.


 4. Cooking/ Using

  • Think about how to use your ingredients eg a left over bolognaise could be made into wraps for such the next day. Google recipes for any tips to use up certain ingredients eg stale bread can be made into French toast or fried and used as croutons! Left over potatoes and veg can be added to an omelette! Salads can be made from cold rice or pasta! 
  • Try buying a whole chicken? The left over meat can be used in a curry, bones as stock etc.
  • Always use the oldest first!


5. Think before Binning!!

  • Go by your senses not sell by dates! You will know by the look or smell if something is gone off!! 
  • Cut around any bruises blemishes in fruit or veg, smell your milk, test your eggs (if they sink in a bowl of water they are ok!), often we throw out food because of its sell date even though it is still perfectly good.
  • Don’t waste unnecessarily due to chopping! Use as much of the fruit or veg as you can!
  • Know your portions, people can come back for more! Or lay it out, let people take as much as they have the appetite for!
  • Use your bins correctly! Do you have a brown bin/ local compost?


6. Storage

  • Excess bread can be sliced and put in the freezer, Fresh produce may need to be refrigerated
  • If you make a large meal, freeze it in portions
  • Always make sure your leftovers are visible when you open the fridge, and avoid using coloured containers! Out of mind is out of sight and leads to food being forgotten about and going off!
  • Open one packet of something at a time. Open packets should then be sealed either in zip lock, with an elastic band or in a container to avoid going stale.
  • School lucks can be made using compartmentalised sections to avoid any unwanted mixtures!


For more tips on how to reduce food waste visit Stop Food Waste.