It is National Nutrition Week in Australia, an annual healthy eating awareness campaign. This year, the campaign aims to bring awareness to increase consumption of fruit and vegetables to limit food waste, so here is our take on how that can be achieved for all you Weightloss Warriors. Congratulations if you have had weight loss surgery! Woohoo! I bet life is looking great for you right now. I am sure you are on a journey of self-discovery by creating new habits in the way you eat, how you eat and the types of food that you include into your diet. How exciting! At WLSA, we encourage you to reconnect with nutritious wholefoods again, slow your eating down and most importantly, implement 5 small meals per day to get the nutrition and protein that your body requires. We know that eating smaller portions is advantageous to your waistline and wallet. Bargain! But have you ever thought about how changing your eating habits or your food choices are related to food waste? Each year, Australians throw out one in five bags of groceries we buy. That means each household throws away $616 per year that’s a holiday to Fiji right there! Not only is this a waste of money but it also has environmental impacts.
We understand that changing to a new way of eating can be difficult to adjust in terms of knowing what to buy or how much food to buy, particularly for you and your family.
So here are 10 steps you can do to reduce your household food waste:
- Plan meals in advance, so that you only buy food that you need for the week.
- Check the cupboard and fridge before you go shopping to prevent doubling up on food items.
- Purchase fruit and vegetables that are in season or better yet, purchase frozen fruit and vegetables. Usually, these options are cheaper and can last longer.
- Store food correctly. If any fruit and vegetables are about to expire, either freeze them or turn these into smoothies, soups, dips etc.
- Reuse leftovers. If you have food leftover, it will probably make the perfect lunch the next day or pop it in the freezer for when you get home late from work when takeaway is tempting, you will have a back-up already prepared.
- Don’t put too much food on your plate. Start with ¼ – ½ cup food then goes back for more if you feel like you are not quite satisfied after 20 minutes.
- Compost fruit, vegetable and grain-food scraps, or use worm farms.
- Choose foods with the least amount of packaging where possible. Protein foods such as chicken, meat, yoghurts are common packaged foods. It is best to buy these in bulk, eg: 1kg chicken, separate into smaller portions and freeze separately OR buy 1 x 907g tub Chobani/Yopro yoghurt instead of small individual tubs.
- Use recyclable bottles/containers rather than buying disposable containers.
- Take reusable bags with you to the supermarket and remember to carry a spare.