7 tips to help you avoid food waste
Updated: Jun 18
In Germany, people toss out about 13 million tons of food every year, and the trend is rapidly rising. However, contrary to popular belief, supermarkets and restaurants aren’t the only culprits. We can also avoid some food waste at home. Today, we’ve put together 7 tips to easily prevent food waste, do something good for the earth, and even save money.
1. Planning, writing shopping lists & resisting offers
Sounds a bit old school, but a good old-fashioned grocery list makes all the difference. Before shopping, think about which dishes you want to cook and what ingredients the recipe calls for. A little foresight prevents you from buying too much and having to send it to the bin. Love offers and bargains? Great. Include them in your favorite dishes. Otherwise, try your best to resist spontaneous purchases between supermarket shelves because we often buy things we don't even consume at the end of the day.
2. Take away, give away, freeze, insert & share
Mmmm, that was delicious! But half the pot is still full? No reason to send it to the barrel. Many dishes taste just as yummy the second time around or can be turned into a casserole, sauce or the like by upgrading. Off into a container and off to work with the food. Maybe the neighbours would also like to try your secret recipe? If not, freezing is always another great option. You can also marinate or even ferment leftover fruit and vegetables and quickly find instructions on social media to find out how.
3. Simply transform your kitchen waste into valuable compost
Make compost, not waste! With KALEA, you can say “so long” to unused food. Now, anything from leaves and stems, leftovers from schnibbels or already cooked food has a purpose. In just three steps and within 48 hours, KALEA turns your kitchen waste into nutrient-rich compost. You can use it for your herb garden, your home garden, your favourite houseplants or even pass it on as a gift.
4. Consuming supplies and keeping an eye on holidays
Have a pantry or a storage locker? Great. You don't keep track of it? Not so great. We often hoard pasta and tomato sauce without checking what is left in the house. Time to challenge yourself by creatively boiling up all your supplies until it is all used up. Even if you are going on holiday for a longer period of time, it is definitely worth checking your supplies and cooking with them. This way, food will end up in your stomach instead of the trash before you head out on a relaxing break.
5. Leave the sell-by date behind
Many consumers are still in the dark about the best before date — or MHD for short. For example, did you know that you can still eat cheese, butter and eggs with a clear conscience for 21 days after the best before date? Rice or flour can taste just as good even after one year. Organizations like the Tafel provide information about different foods and help to sensitize us to the daring claims of the MHD.
6. Buy fruit and vegetables with blemishes
Nobody's perfect, and this also applies to fruit and vegetables. Unfortunately, many kilos of food are disposed of every year just because they are “flawed”. Often, these perfectly edible treats do not even make it to the supermarket. At weekly markets, some stalls offer vegetables and fruit with "flaws" at lower prices. If you are cooking a vegetable soup or a freshly baked apple pie, then small brown spots, scratches or unconventional shapes are not really a problem.
7. Using communities
In almost every major city, there are organized food sharing communities that save food from being disposed of. Under platforms like Food Sharing, you can find suitable groups to share with in your area. Not in the mood to cook and still want to save food? With the Too Good To Go app, you can take food to different restaurants, cafés and bistros — at low prices.