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Waste Not, Want Not

Waste Not, Want Not

Jed Doble
01 September 2021

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Oven a billion tons of food is wasted every year all over the world. 61 percent of which is wasted in the home. We should start getting our act straight if we want the next generation to have enough to eat.

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At the start of the pandemic, when everyone buckled down for lockdown I dashed to the grocery and like many, went on a panic buying binge. Fridge and pantry fully stocked, I dug myself in. In the beginning I was actually enjoying it, cooking every meal, trying recipes I’ve been wanting to try, cooking Filipino comfort food. With all the uncertainty, I was looking to food to calm myself.
 
Then it started to happen, greens I had bought were spoiling in the vegetable crisper, had to throw half the milk carton because it had expired, some forgotten fruit was already fermenting deep in the fridge. And I was throwing things out. Part of me felt uneasy and guilty, but part of me said – well it happens.
 
As the weeks progressed into months, I noticed my weekly grocery runs were getting cheaper, I was buying less quickly perishable stuff. And learned to manage the quantity of things I bought.
Just recently, I saw an article on finedininglovers.com and the food waste stats shocked me. 20% of meat, 35% of fish and 45% of fruit and vegetables are wasted every year globally. 29 million tons of dairy products are wasted in Europe alone every year and 286 million tons of cereals (bread, pasta, rice, etc.) are wasted every year in industrialized countries. And I was in one way or another contributing to this.
 
So what can we do to help this crazy food waste from continuing? It is evident that we can’t continue to waste food like this. The United Nations says we must cut the food waste at retail and consumer levels to 50% by 2030, to avoid dire consequences.
So what can we do to help this crazy food waste from continuing? It is evident that we can’t continue to waste food like this. The United Nations says we must cut the food waste at retail and consumer levels to 50% by 2030, to avoid dire consequences.
 
Here are a few tips from me, things I’ve started to do in my own apartment and some I’ve read about.
 
  1. Be mindful when shopping. Don’t take the bigger package even if it turns out to be cheaper, if you know you won’t be able to finish it anyways. I’ve started buying smaller milk cartons.
  2. When cooking, plan your ingredient prep, not just to save time but to foresee what you might end up wasting. Vegetable peels and discards also have flavor, collect them and freeze them they can be used for soup stock later on.
  3. Love your leftovers. These can be rethought and created into new dishes. I personally save lots of left over protein – and use these to make Nasi Goreng!
  4. Old bread can be made into bread crumbs and stored in an airtight container for up to 6 months. Use your bread crumbs to thicken soups and sauces.
  5. Wrap your greens in some paper towels and store them in airtight containers in your crisper. This will extend their life by a few days.
  6. What I’ve done is I’ve started ordering catered meals. It has reduced my grocery spend, I get the right amount of food and I don’t throw out anything. My cooking is left for the chest days on weekends.
 
Let’s all do our share to try to reduce food waste. This is not only applicable to the home setting but to restaurants, hotels and other F&B establishments too. In the end, this mindfulness will go a long way in saving the planet’s resources.

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