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"Each family must devise a plan for managing their refrigerator to minimize food waste."
Climate Environment World News

“Each family must devise a plan for managing their refrigerator to minimize food waste.”

For approximately six years, Lucy Leonardi has been implementing sustainable methods to decrease food waste in her household.

Following their involvement in the ABC’s War on Waste campaign, in which a group of Sydney residents were taught methods for minimizing their food waste, the co-author of the children’s educational book Food Wise began to contemplate their own household’s consumption habits.

Leonardi suggests that each family should establish a system for organizing their refrigerator.

“For instance, I enjoy regularly rotating the contents of the crisper drawer. If I notice something starting to become wrinkled, I will transfer it to the ‘use it up’ container. Additionally, I have a separate container specifically for near-expiration date condiments.”

Leonardi is the person in charge of Who Does the Dishes, a food-focused blog that features interviews with home cooks who prioritize sustainability. She is dedicated to assisting individuals in discovering innovative methods for utilizing leftover vegetable scraps such as cauliflower leaves, broccoli stalks, and carrot tops.

herbs in a tea towel in the fridge

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According to her, educating the next cohort about agriculture is crucial in decreasing food waste and increasing understanding of the journey from farm to plate.

Leonardi says that the greatest benefit of reducing food waste is that it can be a family effort.

“We must re-establish a connection with nature and be proactive about anticipating seasonal changes. Let us return to our roots and embrace the natural growth of food.”

Every year, approximately 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted worldwide, with Australia alone accounting for over 7.6 million tonnes, mostly from households. The ultimate goal of the national food waste strategy is to reduce this number by 50% by the year 2030.

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OzHarvest, which collects surplus food from supermarkets, cafes, hotels, airlines and restaurants and distributes it across Australia to people in need, created “Use it up” labelling tape as an easy strategy to reduce food waste in the home. The tape has slogans including “cook me”, “use me up” and “pick me” which are designed to act as a visual prompt when you open the fridge or freezer.

According to Mark Boulet, a behavioral scientist and co-author of the Halving Household Food Waste Report by OzHarvest, addressing food waste presents a distinct challenge for sustainability that can involve everyone’s participation.

“He says that the issue with food waste largely stems from homes.”

“Factors such as climate change or water pollution may arise from various sources that individuals have limited control over. Despite small efforts that individuals can take, the larger contributing factors are often outside the realm of personal influence.”

According to OzHarvest’s findings, individuals with young children and hectic schedules tend to produce the most amount of food waste. This is often due to their efforts to accommodate their children’s changing tastes and food preferences.

Food scraps in a compost binView image in fullscreen

Boulet states that most people dislike wasting food and have the intention to avoid doing so.

Food waste can be compared to dying from a series of small cuts. It accumulates gradually, with a little bit here and there.

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According to Boulet, the kitchen counter’s compost bin is a prime instance of this. Although it aids in discarding scraps and spoiled food, it also serves as a means of avoiding the issue altogether.

According to Boulet, effectively managing food waste involves being honest about the amount of food you eat. For individuals cooking on a smaller scale, utilizing online shopping (despite concerns about plastic packaging) can be a useful way to reduce food waste. This is because at home, you are able to check your pantry before making purchases, rather than being tempted by special deals at the supermarket.

According to him, those who purchase from markets or grow their own food and prioritize health tend to have lofty expectations for their fruit and vegetable consumption.

People often overestimate how much they will eat, leading them to potentially waste more food. This is especially true if they are busy and tired during the week, making it tempting to just order pizza instead of cooking.

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Bronwyn O’Brien recently started considering food waste and as a result, her family has been able to decrease their temptations, using “use it up” tape as a helpful tool.

According to O’Brien, she shares a household with her significant other and two small kids. She explains that by the end of the week, her fridge would be overflowing with Tupperware filled with leftovers.

According to O’Brien, the current situation has not affected our shopping habits, but it has caused us to reconsider wasting food when our meal plans unexpectedly change on a Wednesday.

“If I have leftover chicken, I could possibly use it the next day to make sandwiches.”

Most importantly, her family hardly ever orders takeout anymore.

According to her, we used to have takeaway twice a week, but now we only have it when we’re with friends.

This is closely connected to our desire to redefine our methods for managing food waste.

Source: theguardian.com