We waste a whopping 1 million tonnes of food in Ireland every year, while one in ten people in Ireland suffer from food poverty every day.
While some food waste cannot be avoided, it is very easy to cut down on the majority of food waste, so we've teamed up with FoodCloud to to help our readers eliminate food waste with tips and recipes over the coming months.
To kick things off we've got some general tips for reducing food waste in your home..
1. Shop smart
This might be a bit of an obvious one, but don’t buy too much. You can save yourself a lot of money by only buying what you will eat. Always be careful of special offers, you don't actually want them - back away slowly from the shelf!
2. Plan your meals
Who doesn't love lists? Make a detailed shopping list with all the ingredients you’ll need, and when you’re in the shop stick strictly to that list. As an added bonus, planning your meals is a really effective way of ensuring you don’t buy or eat food you do not need, whilst also taking the hassle out of deciding what to make for dinner each evening!
3. Don’t shop on an empty stomach
Your mammy was right all along! An excuse to have a snack is always welcome, so make sure you eat something before surrounding yourself with delicious temptations.
4. Buy Ugly Fruit and Vegetables
The misshapen strawberries shaped like hearts, tomatoes shaped like birds and very rude carrots will taste exactly the same as the perfect ones! Give these fruit and veg a home and save them from the bin - loose fruit and veg is often cheaper than the large packs anyway.
5. Learn to understand the sell-by and best-before dates
It might sound a but basic but 'Best before' means that the food is best before this date (but not necessarily worse after). 'Use-by' means that you should most definitely use the food by this date. Lots of foods are still good to eat even after their best before date. But make sure you always trust your senses - touch and smell the food and use your common sense!
6. Keep your fridge in order and love your freezer
Food needs to be stored between 1 and 5 degrees Celsius for maximum freshness. You can store older food at the front of the fridge, with newer food at the back. One thing we've learned is that freezers are amazing for reducing food waste because pretty much anything can be frozen, so they're super handy for storing food.
7. Love your leftovers
Using leftovers to make meals is a smart way to ensure you eat everything you buy. Instead of scraping leftovers into the bin use them to make delicious meals – over the next few weeks we'll share some great leftover recipes with you!