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Wishing you a waste-free Christmas

December 10, 2012

I try not to waste food at any time of the year, given that I often spend quite a bit on getting quality, and knowing that producing food is one of the top causes of environmental problems. Throwing out food unnecessarily is also a major waste of the time and money you spend acquiring and cooking it. A rather shocking amount of food does go to waste though – in Australia for example, 35% of what is sent to landfill is food waste, and averaged, that equates to chucking $239 in the bin per person each year. Our environment also suffers – when food decomposes in landfill amongst things that aren’t biodegradable, methane is released, a gas which is more than twenty times worse for climate change than carbon dioxide.


Nacho naan pizza, made with leftovers 

Fortunately, reducing food waste is easy. Here are my top 3 tips:

  1. Don’t feel like you have to stick to a recipe completely – use what you’ve got and you’ll become much better at cooking creatively in the process!
  2. Reward your efforts – sometimes our leftover meals aren’t magical, but the fact that I saved the money on that meal sometimes justifies getting that better quality olive oil or balsamic next time I’m at the store for example. Stocking my pantry with quality ingredients also means I’m much more careful about wasting food.
  3. Stop peeling your veges and fruit! It’s often not only a waste of time, but the skins often contain the highest density of nutrients. Check out my post dedicated to saving your skins tastily – there are some ways you can please avid skin-haters in there too.


Leftover rice cake
(like a giant arancini pancake with grilled cheese on top)!

There are more tips within the 12 Do’s of Christmas website, which has twelve simple actions you can commit to taking to reducing your waste overall. One of the “Do’s” is dedicated to preventing food waste, so check out those tips too. You can even submit a photo into their facebook photo competition of your attempts to reduce waste and be in to win over $400 of green prizes, including this gorgeous book:

PrintThe recipes are from some big Australian cheffing stars, and the book is dedicated to glamming up your leftovers, showing them in a completely new (very flattering) light! Bonus: OzHarvest get some much deserved fundraising dollars from the sales.

Do you have any tips for cutting down your food waste (and bill)? Or some cool recipes for using up common leftovers?

9 Comments leave one →
  1. December 11, 2012 7:36 am

    I really just buy what I need for the week lately and seems to be working okay. Great Post!

  2. December 11, 2012 2:48 pm

    Great post! I hate and feel tremendously guilty when I throw away food.

  3. December 13, 2012 12:38 am

    Your tips are after my own heart! The only one I’m in two minds about is the skins – if it’s organic produce, then I leave them on, if it’s not then I do tend to discard them.

  4. December 13, 2012 4:12 pm

    I use a compost bin also! Reduces trash shipping by 80-90%. (for the items that just have to be peeled.)

  5. December 29, 2012 4:19 pm

    Some great tips. I particularly like ‘Don’t feel like you have to stick to a recipe completely’. I’m forever skipping and swapping ingredients to use what I have – rather than buy.

  6. Sue permalink
    January 28, 2013 7:39 am

    I am shocked by reports of how much food waste there is and find it hard to believe that some households throw away so much food. All it takes is a bit of planning and common sense when shopping. Great post.

  7. November 4, 2013 3:13 pm

    This is a great post and especially relevant with the holidays around the corner! We are always looking for new tips and reminders to reduce food waste. Thanks!


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