Editor Ani Talwar talks about how you can reduce food waste in your home.
Snacks…yes please! The clear winner for how to get through a day of online lectures and essay writing. Food is, of course, essential to us, but wasting it doesn’t have to be!
As a student who quite often cooks for just myself, finding things in the supermarket that are for one portion is quite hard! Some shops are great and sell loose veg so I can buy just the single tomato I need, but when it comes to meat, and larger veg like cauliflower….well, I’m yet to see a miniature one!
Batch cooking is a sure way to prevent waste. Make a family’s worth of that famous spaghetti Bolognese and freeze three portions so the next time you’re absolutely exhausted from a day of staring at zoom, you don’t even have to cook!
Bread is another good one to freeze, as well as tortillas and naan breads. A few minutes in a toaster and it’s like they’re fresh bought! (And if you put your tortillas in the oven with some leftover chopped tomatoes and cheese, you’ve got yourself a wonderful pizza too)
Sometimes reducing food waste is as simple as using your own intuition. Veg for example has use by dates on them…but most of the time you can tell when it’s actually gone off just by looking at it! The same goes for fruit too, but make sure you’re really careful with meat.
There are other little tricks like making pasta sauce and splitting it into portions before you add the pasta. That way you can still freeze or refrigerate if there’s any extra sauce without ruining the actual pasta as well. The freezer is your friend when it comes to reducing your waste, as well as storing the ever loved garlic bread!
However, for the keen bakers and experimental cooks out there, trying out a fancy new recipe doesn’t have to result in flour all over the kitchen and failed attempts in the bin. This recipe for Dutch Almond Thins for example has you make dough for biscuits that you freeze before cutting and only bake for 15 minutes! This means you can simply cut as many biscuits as you’re going to eat and leave the rest frozen for the next time you bake. The website even states that you can keep the dough frozen for up to a month!
Food waste doesn’t have to go hand in hand with cooking for yourself and trying something new. By maximising the use of your leftover veg, you can turn them into accompaniments, curries, soup, or freeze for the next use. However, now hopefully you know a few more ways that turning them into waste doesn’t have to be an option.
About the Author: Ani Talwar is the Deputy Wildlife and Environment editor here at Wild Magazine. She can also be found at @Mischief.weavers, she wrote the book ‘ATRO- CITY THE FLOOD’ and cares passionately about sustainability.