January 4, 2014, by Helen Whitehead
Make time for the MOOC and avoid food waste!
Meal planning is a great way to avoid wasting food – and saves money and time too. Wondering what to cook for dinner can be a minor but irritating cause of stress all day. Having a plan means it’s easy to make a shopping list, cutting down shopping time and decisions as well as food waste. Apparently 7 million tonnes of food and drink are thrown away each year in the UK, costing the average family in the UK £700. I have tried both weekly and monthly meal planning and both have worked well at different times in my life – and definitely reduce waste.
LoveFoodHateWaste.com have a number of resources that really help with meal planning, including a Portion calculator, a two-week winter meal planner and its equivalent without meat, the shopping list for the meal plan, a blank meal planner and heaps of recipes, currently including the most delicious-looking Christmas leftover recipes.
And if you plan your meals and save all that time – you’ll have time left to join us on our MOOC ‘Sustainability, Society and You’ (starting Monday through FutureLearn).
Planning meals for a lone person is not always easy. Suddenly I would be invited to share a meal with a friend . So, I have to buy food for few days,rather than for weeks,so that I do not waste any. Supermarket is the option unfortunately,planning not always practical as I hate waste.
When my Mum lived alone, I used to cook her family sized meals and divide them into freezer bags which held 1 portion freeze them and then she could thaw and heat up 1 portion at a time – or 2 portions if she had a guest for dinner. ( I used to put the bags into small plastic tubs while they froze and then store the food in the bags and wash and reuse the tubs.)
I live in a rural area and meal planning is a must as I have to drive to shops as there is no bus service in Kenmore. Cooking from scratch is important as you learn how much to use in every dish. Home baking is also a good idea as it is always better than shop bought. (no waste!). You can also save energy by having cakes and main meals that cook at the same temperature in the oven at he same time. Make more than you need and freeze some for later.
Meal planning is a great way to avoid wasting food only if do according to plan. Since ingredients brought sometimes come in standard pack and cooking a meal does not necessary take up all the food purchased unless repeatedly eating the same food or same ingredient food. A community sharing for extra food is a good way to reduce food wastage. However, food waste can be categorized and decomposed for as fertilizer or bio-enzyme.
Meal planning is always a challenge, particularly when you have a young daughter living with you. She usually has dinner at home but sometimes she calls saying that she is going out with friends for dinner or “happy hour”. I live in Rome and the system to collect waste (paper, plastic and organic waste) in different days has been introduced recently. In northern Italy this was introduced many years ago but in Rome only recently. I really make an effort to ensure that I categorize waste in the correct manner. I like the idea that organic waste can be decomposed for as fertilizer or bio-enzyme. I hope the course and comments will help me to make a contribution to “sustainability”.
I have a fussy family and so get very annoyed when I can only buy food in pre-pack quantities. At Christmas my local green grocer sold oranges – all sorts, bussel sprouts and many other items in nets instead of loose. I realise this is easier for him but it doesn’t help cut down on waste.
Try meal planning with two teenagers!! Some days they are so hungry…they will eat double…and some days not at all. I always freeze the leftovers and try to make something from in withing the next day or two!
By the way, goo article….the more this topic is talked about…the better. Thanks.