7 Ways to Reduce Food Waste

Guest authors Yannick and Ilse have cooked their way around the world. In this blog, they explain how simple adjustments to our food shopping and cooking habits can help to reduce global food waste.


We all need food to fuel our bodies and have the energy to function, but did you know that one third of all food produced is wasted or lost? Globally, that makes a total of about 1.4 billion tons of food wastage.

Luckily, we and many others are convinced this can be reduced drastically when paying attention to our usual shopping habits. Adjusting only a few of those habits in each household will have an effect on helping to reduce global food waste.

Pile of trash and food waste

Photo by Jas Min on Unsplash


1. Buy seasonal

Buying local and seasonal fruit and vegetables not only reduces your eco footprint, but these foods also taste better, and when buying from your local market or farmer, they usually keep for longer. Try to optimise products as much as possible and find some easy recipes to keep it fun. For example, food scraps from vegetables can be used to make stocks and broths. If vegetables tend to get overripe or lose their crispiness, create a delicious side dish or make a puree or soup with it. Fruits are delicious when fresh, but they are equally fantastic when preserved into jams or purees. Optimise the use of citrus fruit and use the skin to make candy!


Easy recipes to use up leftovers & reduce waste:

Bread & veg: Ribolitta hearty soup

Chicken or turkey: Pithivier

Vegetables: Roast vegetable medley


2. Grow your own

Don’t have a garden? We understand that not everyone can grow a full array of vegetables at home. Herbs however, grow easily and don’t require a lot of space and a little indoor herb garden is not only beautiful, it also spreads great aromas throughout the kitchen. If they start growing in abundance, harvest them, dry them or preserve them in oil for later use.  You will be able to use them in a variety of recipes from salads to sauces and soups to even desserts. If you don’t have your own space, you could consider finding a local allotment.


3. Make a shopping list

You’ve heard it often but we repeat this because it works! Planning a weekly menu and making a shopping list according to what you need for the week will help you to buy only what’s necessary. Don’t get side tracked when walking into the shop and stick to your list. You buy exactly what you need for the week so there will not be any leftovers if you planned well.


4. Transform and re-use

If you happen to prepare too much food anyway, don’t throw away the leftovers. Eating the same food for days might be fun if it is your favourite dish, but getting creative is the best way to transform these short shelf life foods into a different dish. Add some flavours or turn boiled veggies into a delicious gratinated oven dish; slice leftover meat and make some sandwiches for your packed lunch.


5. Preserve food

It’s a fun activity to do with others! We already mentioned that preserving food is a great way to reduce food waste. Whether it’s pickling, drying, or preserving in oil, you will extend the shelf life of fresh products. Use glass jars or containers especially for pickling.  It is not just environmentally friendly but also easier to store certain products for longer.


6. Keep a minimum of stock

It all comes down to organisation, but keeping your pantry ‘light’ with a minimum of stock will help too. Food, even with a long shelf life, can get forgotten when left at the back of the cupboard.* Therefore, it is good to use the FIFO method (first in, first out) to reduce the chance of foods expiring on your shelves.

* Remember that brilliant Michael McIntyre sketch ‘My Name is Five Spice’?


7. Make compost

Even if you tried your best to apply all the above, there will always be some food left to throw away. A great way to reduce the amount of waste is to compost. If you have plenty of outdoor space, there is no problem finding a corner for a composter. If not, there are counter models that are work well. The compost can be used as fertiliser for your next green project or you can make someone in the neighbourhood happy and exchange compost for some fresh products, a win-win for everyone!



About the authors

Yannick and Ilse have cooked their way around the world while working and living the ultimate expat life in several countries. They want to share their culinary expertise and raise awareness about the environment. Therefore, they have developed a blog with lots of information to enable you to create happiness in your life, inside and outside the kitchen!



Find out more:

Meal prep hacks to save time & money

Love Food. Hate Waste