It's Earth Day on 22 April, an annual event to show support for environmental protection - and one way that we can all help our planet is by cutting down on food waste.
On average, UK households produce a staggering seven million tonnes of food waste every year and the majority of this is still good to eat. However, with a few simple tips, you can easily avoid wasting precious food and money and help the environment to boot.
Hummus and veggie bites brand ChicP is encouraging the nation to waste less and eat more of what’s left in the fridge. The brand share their five tips below...
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How to cut down on food waste
Don't bin fruits when they brown
Browning on apples, bananas and potatoes is absolutely fine! The skin is just there to protect the inside which is still safe to eat. Brown bananas are great for banana bread, but also sweet dips. Just blend them with cocoa and chickpeas, as well as honey or date syrup.
Bruising isn't a problem
It may not look as appealing, but as long as the skin hasn’t been punctured it will still be safe to eat.
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Worried about wilting veg?
This is just the produce losing moisture. Try roasting, boiling or blending wilted vegetables to create endless recipes, and use up your leftover herbs whilst you are at it!
What to do about rotting veg
Whilst rotting vegetables are not something you’ll want to eat, the bacteria are not actually toxic, and rotting portions can usually just be removed.
Try cutting off the rotten section and adding the rest of the vegetable to a dip. It only takes half a carrot to make one pot of ChicP hummus as vegetables expand so much when blended.
Scars on fruit and vegetables
These are just marks that develop in the growing process, they don’t affect the edibility.
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Sainsbury's also has some great tips for cutting down on food waste...
1. Wait for food to cool properly before freezing. Freezing food before it has cooled will raise the temperature of the freezer and cause other foods to start to defrost.
2. Wrap foods well to prevent 'freezer burn' that dehydrates food. To avoid this, opt for proper food bags - squeeze out all the air, seal and label with a permanent pen, adding the date as well as what it is.
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3. Planning and preparing meals ahead of holidays will help to cut down waste when you leave. You can even prepare extra meals to freeze so that you have tasty, nutritious meals to enjoy on your return.
4. Blanch or steam fresh vegetables then cool them quickly in ice before freezing to save the flavour and texture
5. You can freeze pretty much anything, even wine. To freeze, pour the wine into an ice cube tray or zip lock bag. Milk is one of the most wasted foods pre-holiday, but can easily be frozen to use for that essential English cup of tea on your return; fresh milk can be frozen for up to six weeks and opened for up to four.
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6. Leave as little air as possible in the packages and containers to ensure it is sealed properly. Always label packages with the name of the food and date it was frozen.
7. Soft herbs like basil, mint and parsley don't hold up well frozen, so chop and mix them with olive oil and freeze in an ice cube tray.
8. Place frozen fruit into a freezer bag with a tablespoon of Greek yoghurt, ready to pop into the blender for a delicious smoothie.
9. Bananas can be frozen with their skins on to save you from having to prepare them pre-freeze. They are then perfect when added to smoothies or milkshakes on your return.
10. Sharing is caring! When going away, you may find that friends, family and neighbours are looking for just the ingredient that you are disposing of so always check with those nearby.
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