Did you know that by not eating everything on your plate at a restaurant or in your fridge at home, you’re causing terrible damage to the environment?
“But doesn’t food waste eventually disintegrate?”, you’re probably thinking. And sure, a lot of it does (eventually), but while that’s happening, the food breakdown is contributing significantly to global greenhouse gas emissions.
In fact, food that’s produced but not eaten is responsible for up to 10% of global greenhouse gases — worse than flying (1.9%), plastic production (3.8%) and oil extraction (3.8%). To put it another way, if food waste was a country, it would be the third biggest emitter of greenhouse gases after the US and China.
So, what can we do about it? Well, one thing you can do is to stop food waste in your own household. OzHarvest’s Use It Up campaign, which ran at the end of 2021, shared this message across broadcast and digital media, and with Use It Up tape consumers could stick to items in their fridge, reminding them to use up the food, rather than toss it.
“In the past, we would get takeaway if we were rushed off our feet, but now we’re more aware of the food in the fridge, so we eat that up instead,” said Olivia and Miguel, two consumers reached by the campaign. “It’s saved us quite a bit of money.”
Ahead, we share seven easy ways you too can save money by using up all the food – specifically fruit and veg — in your fridge.
Make Citrus Water With Them
Infused water not only looks and tastes good, but it’s good for you, too. Slice up oranges, lemons or limes, stir them into water and pop the bottle or jug in the fridge to chill.
Toss Them Into a Soup
Onions, carrots and celery all work great in soups. Be sure to add spices and fresh herbs like basil, parsley or thyme for added flavouring.
Bake Them Into Bread
Shred squash, pumpkin or zucchini to add to bread or muffins. Or use mashed bananas or leftover applesauce to replace some of the butter in their recipes.
Add Them to Sauces or Salads
Kale, red and green papers and spinach are just a few of the many veggies that can be added to sauces for extra flavour. Toss raw corn kernels, chopped celery and cooked sweet potatoes into salads.
Blend Into a Soup
Throw all your about-to-expire veggies into a blender, add stock or broth (or water and white wine, if you’re in a pinch) and let it simmer.
Clean With Them
Lemons and limes can be used to clean ovens, kettles and even your microwave.
While some fruits and veggies need to be blanched before they’re frozen, others can be popped straight in when they’re at their peak ripeness. When you’re ready to use them, thaw them or toss them into the recipe as-is.
To find out more about OzHarvest’s Halving Food Waste Report, visit their website.