Think Planet – Food Waste

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Hello lovely planet people!

Thanks for coming to visit my first blog post.  I work at Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh (a Gold Green Tourism Award Winner!) and I’m here to share as many great Think Planet, Think People and Think Together tips as a I can!

I’d love to hear your tips and stories too so please do get in touch.

Did you know!…The average household in Scotland generates £470 a year of Food Waste. If, like me, you are fortunate enough to have been provided with a bin by the council for your leftovers/food waste then this is a start. Here are some top tips to help you reduce your food waste further:

Shopping

Before you go shopping plan your menu for the week, and from this you should be able to create a shopping list. The important thing is when you get to the supermarket that you stick to the list.  If it’s not on the list it doesn’t go in the basket, remember you planned this!  Be aware of the BOGOF’s (buy one get one free offers).  Do you really need more than one and will you use it before the expiry date? You also need to be sensible if you have written down 2 tomatoes to buy 2 loose tomatoes and not a pack of six because they are on offer, you only need 2 and it will work out cheaper in the end.

If you tend to occasionally weaken at the end of aisle offers (something sweet is always my Achilles heel!) then do your shopping online – you will be more likely to stick to what’s on your list and not led astray by sparkly offers at the till!

Freezer

This is a great friend when it comes to reducing your food waste. Most of the time I live on my own and i often cook for one, so I will freeze what’s left and have it another time ( just remember to label it otherwise it’s a game of dinner roulette!).

When buying meat, chicken especially, I will buy a pack of four and then separate it into to single portions and freeze. Bread is another issue for me… I am lucky to be provided with lunch at work so I really only have it for roast in the mornings or maybe at the weekends so I freeze this too.  I quiet often buy my loaf when it’s reduced as I know it’s going straight into the freezer.

My freezer has become my new best friend when it comes to food waste and I am picking up all sorts of tips and tricks form friends, TV chef’s programmes and books and online too.   A few months ago when having a toast chicken for dinner, I was shown that once we had pulled off all the edible meat from the carcass to I could put it in a pan and make my own stock which I poured into an ice cube tray and popped in the freezer.  Instant stock cubes that are full of flavour!!

Leftovers

Accurate portioning is a great way to reduce the amount of food wasted.  Think about the size of portions you are serving – do you really need all that food and better still are you going to eat it all?

Leftovers don’t always need to be thrown in the bin or into a food waste bag, they can be turned into something different or another night’s dinner or the next day’s lunch. My left over bolognese last week was turned into chilli the following night by adding some smoked paprika and chilli paste, it was pretty tasty inside a jacket potato. Left over potatoes can be potato salad, or if you peel and mash then you can make Traditional Scottish Macaroon bars (yes in the good old days they were made from potatoes!!)  The sad lonely vegetables before you go on holiday can be pickled and are great on a sandwich with left-over chicken or roast beef, it’s surprisingly easy to do.

With smart planning and preparation before we hit the supermarket, a little bit of courage and imagination there is no need to through leftovers away and better still we reduce our food waste and save a few pennies too.

Greener Scotland has some great tips and recipes too.

See you next time Planet People!

Yours in sustainability,

Lisa

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