How to cook towards an empty bin

By: Judy Davie - The Food Coach

In last week's article about trends for 2019 I wrote that I believed more people this year will be concerned with how their diet impacts the environment. Continuing on the theme of the environment in what I truly hope will be a giant leap in progress is the subject of food waste. I believe this year people will be much more committed to reducing food waste and will buy less.

I really hope they will adopt my mantra which is:-

Eat Fresh - Shop Local - Buy Less - Eat Less - Waste Less - Weigh Less

Directly plucked from the Oz Harvest website here are some staggering statistics …

  • The Government estimates food waste costs the Australian economy $20 billion each year.
  • Over 5 million tonnes of food ends up as landfill, enough to fill 9,000 Olympic sized swimming pools.
  • One in five shopping bags end up in the bin = $3,800 worth of groceries per household each year.
  • 35% of the average household bin is food waste.
  • Nearly four million people experience food insecurity each year, one quarter are children.
  • Over 710,000 people rely on food relief each month, one quarter are children.
  • Regional and remote communities are being hit the hardest and are a third more likely to experience food insecurity than those living in capital cities.

    Source: Oz Harvest

    It's incredible to realise how much food is wasted in a country where over 15% of the population experience food insecurity at some time in their lives.

    When I last wrote about this subject I suggested the following to reduce food and landfill waste. Most of these are obvious but it's worth a reminder.

    1.Buy very little packaged food

    2.Avoid takeaway food

    3.Buy fresh produce loose and not prepacked

    4.Buy only what you need

    5.Shop more than once a week

    6.Plan your meals

    7. Store food properly

    8. Use your freezer and label and date what's going in it

    9. Compost your fresh produce waste &/or keep a worm farm

    This year I wanted to bring your attention to zero waste meals. Zero waste meals roll from one day to another ensuring that everything is used up. It's a project I want to focus on this year and discover who amongst you are doing it now and what specifically are you doing.

    Here's an example of zero waste meals. Let's imagine we are feeding 2 people.

  • Buy a whole kingfish or salmon and ask the fishmonger to give you both sides plus the head and bones.
  • Cut the fish into 160 - 180 g portion sizes and place in containers to freeze until ready to use. A 2 kg kingfish you give you around 6 portions 3 meals
  • Make fish stock by boiling the bones with onion, celery, carrot, and peppercorns
  • Use half the fish stock straight and freeze the other half to make paella 2 meals
  • Blitz the stock remains into a smooth paste, spread over a baking tray and dehydrate in the oven. Your kitchen will stink for a while but the process will give you a large batch of all-natural dog treats which your dog (or neighbour's dog) will love and benefit from the Omega 3 fats which promote a beautiful glossy coat.

    That's an example of zero waste

    I'd love to hear about your zero free meals so please drop me a line.


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