We deal with waste every day and most of us are becoming increasingly aware on how to reduce and reuse. Many of us also know that paper, glass and plastics can be recycled with some efforts, but what about food? No public bins are available in our housing for food waste, and as most people in Singapore live in flats or condominium’s, facilitating our own composting can seem like a challenge.
Caroline Brennan, a member of our FB Group TheGaiaHood, asked the community for tips on how best to manage food waste. We thought the exchange of replies were just too good not to share, so we’ve collected the top answers from our parent group and passing them on to you!
1. Meal Planning
Many agreed that being more organised is a top priority. If you put together a grocery list based on meal plans and inventory of the fridge and pantry, you will avoid all the random buys that can ultimately end up as waste in your bin.
*Nathalie Ricaud, Jessica Wooten & Cassie Fleming
2. Buy less at a time
If time allows, why not make that morning walk or that evening stroll with baby a trip to the supermarket or perhaps the wet market or the bulk store? In this way, you will get exactly what you need instead of a bunch and a packet by buying little quantities, avoiding plastics and making sure no food is wasted.
*Eileen Kao & Zaira Panesh
3. Finish Leftovers
Sometimes several meals can give you enough leftovers for a full one. Have a ‘leftover meal day’ once a week or bring your dish into lunch, adding the bonus of avoiding both the cost and plastics when buying take-away lunch.
*Natalie Ricaud, Kadja Lorenz & Mathilde Juul
4. The second life of ugly veg and fruit
When veggies are about to go off, they don’t need to go. Blend them into a smoothie/soup or cook/bake into a stir fry/baked veggies that can be mixed with rice or quinoa. An idea is also to blend them with tomato sauce and use them for pasta or pizza, hiding those greens from your kids to see… And why not use that brown banana for a great dessert: banana muffins or lush smoothie!
*Mariana Berney, Annina Margaritha , Vanessa Thacker , Chesca Last & Natalie Ricaud
5. Keep Scraps for stock
No reason to buy expensive fonds or stock cubes. Place your vegetable scraps, incl. peels of carrot and store them in a bag/box in the freezer until you have enough to make veggie stock.
6. Your friend the freezer
If you prefer to shop in larger quantities, why not make the freezer your friend for this too? Store all meats and bread, so you will take only what you need for the daily meal and extend the life of the produce.
Also did you know that herbs freeze fine? Chop up the herbs, and freeze them in ice cube trays and use when you need them for cooking. Some also suggest to freeze with oil instead of water and you can use them straight for cooking
*Mathilde Juul, Patricia Pluvinage-Hughes & Maguelonne Rousseau
7. Keeping fresh for longer
Think about how you store your food. By using beeswax wraps, reused ziplock bags or airtight containers your food will keep for longer. Another idea for eg. Spring onions, is to keep them in an upcycled jar of water and trim as you use. Just taking herbs out of the plastic and washing/airing them before adding to fridge drawers also give a better life spand.
*Florence Tay, Abi Beynon & Chesca Last
If you have a balcony, composting is not as hard as you think and here you can add dinner leftovers and food scraps and use the soil for a new purpose.
* Kadja Lorenz
Good luck avoiding that food waste – hope you enjoyed our tips!