Fruit smoothie making

Eat Well and Waste Less

By : Emma Marsh
May 2, 2014

This month and next Love Food Hate Waste invites us to eat well by wasting less, and save money too. Emma Marsh shares her tips.

This month Love Food Hate Waste is highlighting the fact that in the UK we throw away 13 billion 'five a day' portions from our homes every single year whether that’s because we leave them lingering in the cupboard or fruit bowl, because we leave them to go off or we get confused by date labels and throw them away before their time.

So even after bringing all our shopping home and feeling we’ve done the right thing for us and our families by buying good healthy food we end up throwing away the very foods we should be eating the most of – fruit, veg and wholegrain carbs.

Eating healthily also doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, the average person could save £200 a year rising to £700 for a family (the equivalent of £60 a month) by only buying what they need and using what they buy.

Did you know that in the UK, just from our homes, we throw away the equivalent of:

  • 1.5 million tomatoes
  • 1.4 million bananas
  • 1.2 million yoghurts
  • 330,000 cartons of fruit juice

And it doesn’t have to be this way.

Tomatoes for example. A hot topic for foodies when it comes to where you keep them. The fact is if you grow your own or you buy them locally where they haven’t been refridgerated then to keep that special flavour buy little and often and only what you know you can eat in a couple of days and keep at room temperature. If you’ve bought them from a supermarket or you take them out of a fridge in a shop then the best way to keep them fresher for longer is in the fridge.

And if they do go squidgy then turning them into a quick pasta sauce is easy and cheap – lightly fry an onion (or leek or spring onion if that’s what you have to hand), add the chopped tomatoes and herbs if you can find any (it’s fine without) and serve.

Bananas. Keep separate from other fruit and keep at room temperature. Try and buy only what you need if you can. If they are under-ripe put in a paper bag with an avocado (the natural gas ethylene is released as fruit ripen which speeds up ripening in other fruit in the enclosed space of a bag) but if they’re over then add to curries (just tastes fruity not ‘bananary’), the ever faithful banana and walnut cake (I make them and freeze individual slices in greaseproof paper so everyone can help themselves as and when they want it, and banana ice cream (fat free and tasty – just whiz in a blender from frozen).

Yoghurts – for years I bought multi packs but hated cherry – I left it thinking eventually I’d eat but then it went off and I threw it away. Now I buy single pots in flavours I like, no waste and no extra cost (as I don’t have to buy as many). If you buy frozen yoghurt desserts then don’t forget your simple tub of yoghurt can be frozen just the same (but so eat from frozen – defrosting and eating doesn’t work so well)

And finally fruit juice! I now write the date of opening on the carton so that everyone in the house knows when it was opened and so how many days are left to drink it at its best. No more wasted cartons ‘just in case’.

So these are just a few tips but Love Food Hate Waste has millions more this May and June to help you, me and everyone waste less, save money and feel great.

Find out more at Love Food Hate Waste

Emma Marsh is Head of Love Food Hate Waste. 

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