$1.3 billion

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How to help diminish $1.3bn of wasted food: the freezer is your friend

Composte life cycle symbol and a composting stage system concept as a pile of rotting kitchen fruits egg shells bones and vegetable food scraps shaped as circle with soil at the bottom and a sapling growing.

There is a growing global awareness of the amount of ‘waste’ in the food chain and how, according to the UN, if it can be distributed more evenly, we would be able to feed everyone.  In August 2015 The Guardian published a report, Produced but never eaten, which highlighted the scale of the issue. “Each year 1.3bn tonnes of food, about a third of all that is produced, is wasted, including about 45% of all fruit and vegetables, 35% of fish and seafood, 30% of cereals, 20% of dairy products and 20% of meat.”

What does this mean for us? In wealthier countries, a high percentage of ‘wastage’ comes from food being rejected by retailers, but it is also estimated that 30% comprises food being thrown out by us, the consumers. Rough estimates are that we throw out the equivalent of more than 1 week’s food shopping per month.
What can you do to help with this growing crisis? If you have a freezer compartment, you have a solution. Not only will you be helping to save the world, you will save money and can eat healthier…it’s win-win-win.

 

To start, buy in season when the prices are low. Then, try these 5 healthy ‘super’ food treats:

 

1.    Spinach is one of the world’s healthiest foods.  From Protein to fibre to vitamins and minerals, it has it all. In addition, it is easy to grow and even cheap to buy. You can buy already frozen or fresh. Don’t worry if buying fresh and think the bag is too big, it can be put directly in the freezer in it’s bag.  If you want a spinach omelette, just remove from the freezer, crush and pour.  Mix in some frozen herbs or chopped chillis to add a bit of spice.

2.    Root Ginger is an amazing healthy food. It not only tastes great, it has been proven to relieve sickness, reduce inflammation, and help to relieve cold and flu symptoms.  It also contains fibre and is rich in vitamins and minerals. Buy in bulk when in season, peel or scrape, slice thinly and freeze.  To use, put a handful in hot water to make a refreshing tea, or cut some up and add to your Asian stir-fry.

3.    Avocados, like spinach, are nutrient-dense and contain protein, fibre vitamins and minerals. Additionally, they are high in healthy fat which is needed to absorb vitamins. Remove the skin, chop and store in the freezer. Take out and defrost before making guacamole or adding to smoothies or salads.

4.    Citrus Fruits: Lemons, limes and oranges add zing and are full of vitamins (especially C), minerals (calcium) and fibre (when fruit is eaten). They also taste great and can give a nice lift to the taste of food. Take some straight from the freezer into your tea to cool it or use as ‘ice-cubes’ in cold drinks or cocktails.

5.    Bananas are high in vitamin B6, manganese, fibre and other vitamins and minerals. Freeze without the skin. They can be used in cakes as a natural sweetener,or eaten slightly defrosted in smoothies. Blended right out of the freezer, their creamy texture gives the impression that you are eating a quality ice-cream. Note that the latest craze in New York is frozen bananas on a stick for $8 a pop…

These are just a few suggestions, but there are a million ways to save time and money, as well as reduce waste. For other innovative ways to save food, check out the StillTasty website.

Image credit: wildpixel via iStock

Rowana Statham Rowana Statham

Using the skills I have gained from Management Accountancy to research, analyse and communicate Solutions for a Healthier Lifestyle. Passionate about making healthy, naturally gluten free food which tastes delicious!

https://ch.linkedin.com/in/rowana-statham-0756548