How THE F do you stop food from being wasted?

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The current drought in Australia is making major news headlines. With calls for much needed donations for farmers after the NSW Government announced last week that 100 per cent of the State was in drought. But with hay and food shortages what more can we be doing to help than opening our wallets?

Food waste is alarmingly one of the biggest contributors to waste in Australia with over 4,000,000 tonnes of food going in the rubbish every year.

Not only is it costing our environment but on average,$1,036 worth of food is binned each year per household. It’s far from ideal for the planet, let alone the hardline reality it must be for those who’re homeless or living below the poverty line.

But, there are small – yet effective – ways to change the course of how we’re going and it starts with you.

Here’s how you can get the most of your food with these simple tips:

1. Look before you buy. Before you hit the shops have a look at what’s in your fridge and freezer. A handy tip that I found on Pinterest is to keep an “eat first” box in your fridge, the challenge is that whenever you go to cook you have to use majority of the goods in the box.

2. Plan ahead. On a Sunday (or weeknight if that suits you better) work out what meals you are going to make this week. Not only will this help you get through the many recipes bookmarked in your phone but you’ll probably eat healthier. Planning your meals also equals less food waste and savings at the checkout because you only buy what you need.

For more tips on how to make your shop more eco-friendly click here.

3. All or nothing. It’s time to make use of all of your food no waste here. Use the bones of a chicken, the tops of your carrots and the ends of your onions to make a tasty stock. Alternatively you can actually plant the ends of spring onions, celery stalks and avocado seeds to grow veg in your garden.

4. In a pickle? Pickling is one of the easiest ways to put your unwanted veg to use. And the best bit? Pickles last for years! Bye bye rubbish! And these fermented foods will also give your gut a helping hand.

5. Ugly Betty 2.0. Season one of ABC’s war on waste raised the issue of ugly veg and while we are getting better at eating ugly we’ve still got a long way to go. Shop in the ugly second of the supermarket for food that will taste just as good (and look just as good once you cook it!) This will save you big bucks and give you massive zero food waste brownie points.

By making small changes to our shopping and cooking habits we can all make a big difference. Not only will it help our farmers but it will help the planet and your wallet!

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This article was written by Lottie Dalziel, founder of Banish – Australia’s plastic free marketplace.