Every Friday we share the best of the week’s food and nutrition finds: what we’ve loved, what’s inspired us and what’s revolutionised our family mealtimes.
Fantastic Ideas to Help Tackle Food Waste
I don’t know about you but I can’t off the top of my head picture what 7 million tonnes of food looks like. The size of a double decker bus perhaps? Or a small house? (*I’m not even close – scroll to the bottom of the page for the answer).
According to Love Food Hate Waste, that’s the amount of food and drink we as a nation throw out every year. It would take an area the size of Wales to grow that much food in the first place. If you want to put it in monetary terms, that’s £470 of food a year for the average household and nearly double that – £700 – for a family with children. That’s quite sobering, isn’t it?
We’re trying to do our bit to cut down on food waste here in the MoKL Kitchen (see 7 Food Intentions to Start the Week Off Right) but it takes something of a mind reboot to get our heads around doing things differently. Turns out it’s not just about using up leftovers, it’s also about not buying or cooking as much food in the first place.
That’s why this week we’re loving two fantastic ideas that tackle food waste head on, with handy tips and advice and things you didn’t know you didn’t know about food:
Let’s take a little journey
First up on our Friday Dish hot list, a quirky but eye-opening (in a good way) little animation from AO Life. It’s called A Wasteless Journey.
Click on the website, scroll down and you’re taken on a virtual trip to the supermarket and home again to your kitchen with useful tips that pop up along the way. There’s a downloadable shopping list and meal planner. We love the “What do I need to use up?” part but not so sure there’s enough room on the shopping list for all our groceries – might have to write small. But yes, we agree, planning meals is a good way of making sure you don’t end up buying too much in the first place.
Some of the tips sound so obvious when you come to think of them (we just never get round to thinking of them): buy individual fruit and veg rather than packages (industrial-sized sacks of potatoes have had their chips?). And while those Buy One Get One Free deals sound like great value, they’re not if you end up throwing half the food away. So bog-off BOGOFs.
If you’re confused by use-by, sell-by and best-before dates, there’s a nifty little explanation (note to self: please revisit the MoKL egg rack) and some lovely ideas for what to do with leftovers or food that’s past its prime. Turn old potatoes into gnocchi and stale bread into French toast and Bob’s your uncle – you’ll already be reducing your food waste by just a little bit every day.
Lastly there’s a nice section on what foods you can freeze. Cheese apparently. Didn’t know that. And raw chicken can be frozen for up to a year. Didn’t know that either.
AO Life is a lifestyle hub for AO (Appliances Online) so some might say they have an interest in seeing us cook more and freeze more. But we learnt a lot, we were inspired and motivated and we loved the pictures. We’re happy.
Your Food Waste Assistant
Have you thrown anything away recently? That’s the question they’re asking over at Love Food Hate Waste with the launch of their new Your Food Waste Assistant. As the name suggests, they’re asking about food, they don’t want to know about that stack of Heat magazines you just threw in the recycling bin.
The idea is simple: type in the food you last threw out and you’re then presented with a number of options as to why you threw the food away.
This part really made me think – how often do we question the reason why we’re throwing food away? Is it because we’ve made too much, or the food has gone off before we had a chance to cook it, or sometimes the kids don’t like it and we think it’s past saving. Most of the time I feel so guilty about throwing food away, I dig my head in the sand and prefer not to shine a spotlight on the issue.
Well, I think Your Food Waste Assistant is going to really help me out. It offers 30 alternatives or solutions to throwing out around 600 food products – from meal planning to freezing to portion control – all designed to help you think twice before you throw that food out again.
Here at MoKL, we’re huge fans of the Love Food Hate Waste website, so once you’re done with Your Food Waste Assistant, head over to the main site for lots of advice on meal planning, portion control, recipes and more.
And Finally: MoKL’s New Food Crush
So we’re working on the amount of sugary snacks we bring into the house for our kids to eat – that particular nut we seem to be cracking. Crisps however are another thing. The kids love them, as does mum, and they seem pretty innocuous, right?
Well, there may not be any sugar in crisps but there’s a lot of fat. That’s why when we saw these Hummus Chips we wanted to give them a try. With nearly half the fat per serving compared to normal crisps, these seemed like a winner.
But did they taste any good? In a word: yes. In fact, the kids didn’t get round to tasting the first bag at all (eh hem, looks sheepish).
When they finally did, they loved them – moreish is a slight understatement. These ones are made with chick pea flour as the name suggests and they come in different flavours including Chilli & Lemon and Tomato & Basil. The company that makes these also makes Quinoa, Lentil and Vege chips too. We haven’t tried them yet but we definitely will. These are available in most supermarkets and cost around £1.90 per bag.
*7 million tonnes of food waste would fill 9 Wembley Stadiums
We’re not paid to review products – the opinions above are our own. We only review things we absolutely love and want to share with our readers.