Zero-waste chef Max La Manna shares his top tips to help you minimise your food waste and reduce your global footprint for a more regenerative planet.
Max La Manna, zero-waste chef, award-winning author of the UK’s Most Sustainable Cookbook in 2019 and climate activist is here to turn the tide on rubbish and bring new creative ideas to your leftovers that are typically destined for landfill.
Here some simple ideas you can adopt to help you minimise your food waste and reduce your global footprint for a more regenerative planet in time for Earth Day (April 22).
When did it become acceptable or normal to throw food away? ⅓ of the food we produce for human consumption is wasted every year – that’s the land the size of China used to grow food that is never eaten.
Food waste is a bigger problem than people actually realise and ¼ of the food thrown away in the US, UK and Europe could feed the worlds nearly 1 billion people – let that sink in for a moment.
Sadly, it is not an exaggeration to say that food waste is one of the biggest problems facing mankind today in my opinion. Let’s rethink how we buy food, how we store food, how we eat, and how we should never waste food ever again.
For me, I’ve been on this #NoFoodWaste journey for three years now, so I can tell you from experience that creating no food waste doesn’t just happen overnight. You have to take small actionable steps every day to really make a difference. But if I can, I know you can do it too!
Find the reason why you want to waste less food. Whether it’s because of its financial impact – because wasted food is wasted money – or it’s the loss of our natural resources or because food waste in landfills is heating our planet and is a massive contributor to the climate crisis – find your why and take action.
Here are some tips and tricks to reduce your food waste at home right now for Earth Day 2020 and beyond:
- Shop smart and plan out your meals.Plan ahead and make a list of what you want to purchase and stick to that list!
1a. Don’t Over Buy. Buy what you need and only what you need. This will drastically reduce your waste on food at home or when you’re out to eat.
- Cooking less. This doesn’t mean to go out and eat more often (the restaurant industry wastes an absurd amount of food). Prepare less food when cooking or fewer serving portions.
- Save and Eat Your Leftovers. Leftovers are almost always better the next day, in my opinion.
3a. This is a great opportunity to make friends with your freezer. Store food properly, reheat and enjoy!
- Pickling. This may sound crazy, but pickling is a great way to save food from being wasted. It’s a shelf stabilizer and can be a great way to gift friends and neighbours with a jar of pickled veggies that would have gone to waste.
- Donate. Do good with your unwanted food and share it with charities, food shelters or even your next-door neighbour.
- Utilise the entire ingredient. It’s time to get creative with the food we typically throw away. Saute your cauliflower leaves for a quick stir-fry or stew, steam and blend those broccoli stems for a delicious soup, turn your stale bread into homemade croutons and your leftover veg scraps into a tasty veg stock.
- Compost! Compost is one of my favourite ways to reduce food waste. Food that is composted brings nutrients back to the soil for regenerative health. Giving soil new health provides healthier plants in which makes us healthier too.
What’s going to be your next step? What changes are you willing to make? Can we all collectively be a part of the solution and no longer part of the problem?
For more tips, tricks and recipes – check out Max’s book More Plants Less Waste.