Culinary queen Prue Leith and food expert Dr Rupy Aujla aim to tackle our issue with food waste in the new Channel 4 show Cook Clever Waste Less, which starts tonight.

The show comes as experts estimate that in the UK, we throw away a whopping 4.5 million tonnes of food and drink each year, which causes harm to the natural environment as landfills produce large amounts of methane gas.

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Wrap, the sustainability not-for-profit that produced that report in 2020, also estimates that food waste is putting us out of pocket, as the average household could save £700 each year by only purchasing the food that they eat.

6 tips for reducing food waste

Ahead of tonight’s show, here are some simple tips and ideas to help you make the most of the food in your fridge.

1. Plan your portions

One of the biggest causes of household food waste is miscalculating how much of a dry ingredient, like rice or pasta, you actually need.

As a rule of thumb, half a mug of uncooked rice grains will serve two people,  and a single portion of uncooked spaghetti is around the same width as a £1 coin.

Any surplus you do have can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge – just make sure you follow the NHS instructions on reheating rice to avoid food poisoning, so cool it quickly, keep it in the fridge for no more than a day, reheat it thoroughly so it is steaming hot all the way through before eating, and only reheat rice once.

2. Sign up to a recipe box

Recipe boxes like Mindful Chef, Hello Fresh and Green Chef send you the precise amounts of ingredients you need to cook each recipe, so you don’t have to throw away excess food in the process.

You could also sign up Oddbox, another recipe box that works with growers across the UK to rescue misshapen fruit and veg at risk of going to landfill.

3. Compost your scraps

Composting your kitchen waste, like vegetable peelings and wilting herbs, is super easy to do. Pretty much all types of organic refuse makes excellent compost material, which can bring your garden to life in the summer.

Pop your scraps into a compost bin and they’ll break down over the course of around a year, giving your free compost to fertilise your garden soil.

4. Use your freezer

Vegetables that are wilting in the fridge, like spinach and kale, can be stored for months in the freezer and used as a base for smoothies and soups.

You can also keep frozen broccoli, peas and chopped pepper on hand to toss into stir-fries, rather than buying them fresh every time you fancy cooking a noodle dish.

5. Take a photo of your fridge before you head to the supermarket

"Food ,vegetable and beverage in refrigerator"

There’s nothing more annoying than buying lots of food at the supermarket, only to realise that you already had half of the ingredients sitting in your fridge.

The beauty of smartphones means you can take a quick snap of your cupboards before you leave the house, so you can plan better and only buy the food that you really need,

6. Learn how to store foods properly

There are certain storage techniques that can make produce last longer. For instance, placing the stems of your herbs in a shallow cup of water while in the fridge can extend their shelf life.

Similarly, a squeeze of lemon on an uneaten avocado half can prevent premature browning, while storing your milk in the middle of the fridge, rather than the door, means it’s less likely to spoil from uneven temperatures.

If all else fails, lots of fresh ingredients can be cooked and whizzed into a delicious soup. Pop in your freezer and enjoy it another day.

Best-selling food storage containers

Stuck for inspiration? Check out our list of best-selling Amazon products!

Bestseller No. 1
Chef's Path Airtight Food Storage Container Set - 24 PC - Kitchen & Pantry Organization - BPA-Free -...
  • ✮ Superior bundle - Your complete bundle comes with 24 BPA-free premium food-storage canisters, measuring spoon set, a chalkboard marker & bonus reusable chalkboard labels allowing you to organize...
  • ✮ Best bang for your buck - We provide a higher total storing capacity unlike most others on Amazon. Includes 6 extra large containers (11.83 cups /2.8 liters), 6 large containers (8.45 cups /2.0...
  • ✮ Verstile containers - many great uses: These air-tight food-safe keepers are not only ideal for storing dry foods such as flour, sugar, rice, grain, cereals, nuts, beans, snacks, pasta spaghetti,...
Bestseller No. 2
Chef's Path Airtight Food Storage Containers Set - 14 PC - Kitchen & Pantry Organization - BPA-Free...
  • ✮ Superior bundle - Your complete bundle comes with 14 BPA-free premium food-storage canisters, measuring spoon set, a chalkboard marker & bonus reusable chalkboard labels allowing you to organize...
  • ✮ Best bang for your buck - We provide a higher total storing capacity unlike most others on Amazon. Includes 2 extra large containers (2.5quart /2.8 liters), 4 large containers (1.8quart /2.0...
  • ✮ Versatile containers - many great uses: These air-tight food-safe keepers are not only ideal for storing dry foods such as flour, sugar, rice, grain, cereals, nuts, beans, snacks, pasta spaghetti,...
SaleBestseller No. 3
KICHLY Plastic Airtight Food Storage Containers - Set of 18 (9 Containers and 9 Snap Lids) Plastic...
  • 18 PIECE SET - Includes 9 containers with 9 lids of assorted sizes. 1 container with a capacity of 3,250ml, 2 containers with individual capacities of 2,350ml, 1 container with a capacity of 1,750ml,...
  • MICROWAVE AND FREEZER SAFE - The plastic used is 100% BPA free. The containers (not the lids) are dishwasher, microwave, and freezer safe. They can be used in temperatures up to 80 degrees Celsius
  • 100% AIRTIGHT, LEAK AND SPILL-PROOF - Specific design which helps in preserving and keeping the contents of the containers fresh. The lids feature silicone rubber which adds to the snap-on lock system...
SaleBestseller No. 4
Airtight Food Storage Containers 9 Pieces 1.5qt / 1.6L- Kitchen Pantry Organization Containers,...
2,084 Reviews
Airtight Food Storage Containers 9 Pieces 1.5qt / 1.6L- Kitchen Pantry Organization Containers,...
  • FOOD GRADE MATERIAL & BPA FREE - We are serious about your health. Our food storage containers are made of premium food grade plastic, BPA Free. Good for you and your family. AIRTIGHT - With blue...
  • GREAT VALUE - Still worry mixing your baking supplies when you are baking? Don't worry! Our storage container set will help. This complete bundle includes 9 containers, measuring spoon set, 24...
  • EXTRA BONUS – We have 24 reusable chalkboard labels. It is at least 12 more than others. With these extra labels, you can use to your other containers. We have one measuring spoon set, while others...
Bestseller No. 5
Airtight Food Storage Container Set, Kitchen and Pantry Containers, Keep Food Fresh, Dry and...
  • BUILD TO LAST: Thanks for our clients’ feedback, we improved the LIDS which are made up of High Impact Resistant and Durable ABS plastic. It won’t crack or break. With this improved design, our...
  • SECURE SEALING: Each canister features an airtight locking system resulting in a watertight and airtight seal. The container set is the perfect food storage solution for keeping ingredients and food...
  • GREAT VALUE 7 AIRTIGHT FOOD STORAGE CONTAINERS: Each size is perfectly to store common household staples including cereal, flour, sugar, pasta, rice, coffee, nuts, snacks and more. Includes 1 Large...
Bestseller No. 6
MyChoice Snap-On Airtight Lid 750ml Food Storage Container 10 Pack - Leakproof Microwave Freezer...
  • 10 Set Value Pack High Quality Food Container Set; Microwave Safe, Dishwasher Safe (Top Rack), Freezer Safe. Comprises 10 Sets Each Container Is 750ml - With Steam Release Vent - Each Container Has...
  • Non-Toxic Light & Strong Recyclable Polypropylene [PP] Plastic; Bisphenol – BPA Free
  • European Union Commission Health & Consumers Directorate Regulation No 10/2011 Certified Safe For Use With Food

Last update on 2021-06-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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