With an attitude of climate change in the air, food waste has become a recent talking point. Some food waste will always be inevitable, but cutting down on being wasteful will not only help save the planet but will also be cheaper in the long run. Here’s my top tips for cutting down on your food wastage at university.
Batch cooking is without a doubt my favourite thing and is great to cut down on waste at university. I often find trying to cook pasta for one person is difficult when you only need half an onion or a dozen tomatoes leaving you trying to work out what you can cook tomorrow with the remains. Instead I cook a family sized portion and use up any vegetables entirely so there’s no leftover wastage. Just tub up the remaining portions and put them in the freezer to have an easy meal another time.
Linking to the point above is the power of freezing! Freezing is a great way to cut down on wastage and to not forget about food items until they’re out of date. When I buy a big pack of meat even if I know I might eat it all that week, I also know I’m someone who changes their mind a lot about what to eat. I always freeze my chicken or beef etc in separate little bags, and on the day I need them I take them out to defrost in the morning ready to be cooked in the evening. Remember if you’re freezing meat you should always try to freeze it on the day you buy, the earliest you freeze, the safer it is. This means that I never have meat going off and I can change my mind about what to have for dinner without feeling I have to eat certain things in the fridge.
Meal prepping can be a great way to making sure you don’t waste food. Before you go for a food shop think about what you will cook that week and make a list. This avoids you buying loads of random ingredients that you may not use and could just end up in the bin. This also helps to prevent overbuying more food than you actually need which can be a huge waste.
Of course, everyone overbuys at some point or ends up eating out when unplanned. If you do have spare food and you live in a shared house, why not see if anybody wants it before chucking it in the bin? You never know someone might really appreciate it.
By using food apps such as Olio you can post your unwanted food so people in the local area can message you and potentially take it off your hands. Apps like these can be a great way to cut down on food wastage whilst helping another person out! They’re still quite a new thing but hopefully as they grow to be more popular it will become easier to get rid of any unwanted food efficiently.