by Thato Bokaba

Waste

Ten tips to cut down waste

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In light of the recent Global Conference on Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Security and Climate Change, here are some tips to keep food fresh and minimise the amount of waste that occurs.

1. Keep a healthy fridge 

Check that the seals on your fridge are in good order and check the fridge temperature.  Food needs to be stored between 1 and 5 degrees Celsius for maximum freshness and longevity.

2. Don't throw it away! 

Fruit that is just going soft can be made into milkshakes, smoothies or fruit pies. Vegetables that are starting to wilt can be made into soup which can also be frozen. 

3. Buy what you need 

Buy loose fruits and vegetables instead of pre-packed, and then you can buy exactly the amount you need.

4. Set up a compost bin 

Some food waste is unavoidable, set up a compost bin and in a few months you will end up with rich, valuable compost for your garden plants.

5. Recycling

This one seems like a no brainer, but South African’s are not very good at recycling. It is a real way to reduce waste. Sort out the glass, plastic and paper products from your garbage and put into a recycling bin and can be reused instead of taking up space in a landfill.

6. Learn the art of pickling 

You don’t need to get all fancy with your preservation methods. Do an internet search and find out how easy it is to pickle cabbage to make sauerkraut or pickled cucumbers.

7. Practice FIFO

It stands for “First In-First out. When unpacking groceries, move older products to the front of the fridge/freezer/pantry and put new products in the back. This way, you’re more likely to use up the older stuff before it expires.

8. Understand expiration dates

Believe it or not expiration dates don’t have much to do with food safety but rather they are the manufacturers’ suggestions for peak quality.  If stored properly, most foods (even meat) stay fresh for several days after expiry.  If a food looks, smells, and tastes okay, it should be fine to eat.

9. Donate what you won’t use

Never going to eat that can of beans?  Donate it to a soup kitchen, orphanage or charity before it expires so it can be consumed by someone who needs it.

10. Grow your own veggies so you ‘’pick-as-you-need’’

In cases like this, rather than buying a bag of potatoes that expires long before you can finish them.

 

 

 

 

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