Australian kitchens are recording high levels of food waste and it’s costing households a fortune.
New research by the Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre has revealed the average Australian household throws away 219kg of food a year, which adds up to an average of $965 per person, per year.
Researchers from the FFW CRC used on-line surveys, electronic kitchen diaries, audits of kerb side bins and focus groups to understand what is really happening inside Australian kitchens.
The study found that while most of us think we don’t waste food, we do, and we waste a lot.
The study identified beef steak as the most wasted food by value per household, closely followed by bread, cheese, and salad.
So, what can be done to reduce food waste in the home?
- Stop and take stock before the next food shop
Make sure to look through the fridge and freezer before heading to the supermarket. Write a list of items you need and even take a ‘shelfie’ to keep track of what is in the fridge. Heading to the shops with a list will ensure there are no double-ups back home – make sure to stick to it!
2. Re-arrange items from old to new
When coming back from the shops re-arrange the older items in the fridge to the front before packing the new food items away and make sure to use them first! This will ensure food is eaten before its expiry date nears, otherwise it could be a case of out of sight, out of mind and in the bin.
3. Storage is key
Knowing how to store meat, fruit, dairy and vegetables in the fridge is the best way to ensure food lasts longer. There are many great resources available that explain the different ways certain fresh food can be stored to maximise use, including Australian Beef.
4. The freezer is your friend!
Freezing fruit, vegetables and meat can be a great way to preserve food for longer. Just place in an air-tight freezer bag and its ready to go for your next meal. Freezing veg scraps can also be a great way to eliminate food waste – they work perfectly in soups, stocks and stir-frys.
For more tips. tricks and information on how to minimise household food waste, head to Fight Food Waste CRC.