Billions of pounds and millions of tonnes of food are wasted every year by households in the U.K.
According to Waste & Resources Action Programme, we throw away seven million tonnes of food at the cost of £13 billion.
Every day, six million potatoes, three million apples, one million bananas, a million unopened yoghurt pots and nearly half a million ready meals are thrown in the bin.
However, there is an easy answer to this wastefulness. One of the biggest solutions to food management in your house is the humble freezer.
The freezer acts as a pause button to your food – which means you can get them out when you have the time, and make something incredibly delicious with them. Which is so much better than hurling them into your green wheelie bin.
Potatoes – store them in a dark cupboard rather than in the fridge or out on the side in daylight
Apples – store them in the fridge to add weeks to their lifespan
Bananas – when they’re turning brown, peel them and throw them in a sandwich bag into the freezer. They can be turned into ice cream by whizzing them up in a blender.
Yoghurts – Again, yoghurt, which is about to expire, will make a great ice cream base. Freeze it and whizz it up with some strawberries or bananas when you want to make a healthy treat.
Fish and meat – Keep an eye on the expiry date. If you’re not going to use it before they expire, freeze them. When you next have a recipe which requires the ingredient, whack it straight from the freezer into the pot.
Beware of sell by dates too. The date printed on the packaging is not necessarily the day that it becomes inedible. When it comes to something perishable, like chicken or fish, the use by date will be a clear indicator that it needs to be eaten before then. However, things like cereal, vegetables – even milk sometimes – can be consumed after the date.
Best before end is more to do with the quality and is used for frozen, dried or tinned foods.
Labels like “consume within”, “sell-by” and “display until” is an indicator to shops to shift stock, and plenty of food can be enjoyed days after these dates pass.
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