Food waste: how do you avoid it?

The agri-food industry and supermarkets: two major players on the food market and at whom we often point the finger when it comes to food waste. But they’re not the only ones to blame. What if we started by looking at what’s on our plate? We want to inspire you.

Is industry and supermarkets to blame for food waste?

According to Intradel, one third of the world’s food production ends up in the trash. It’s easy to blame everything on the industry. Industry and distribution are shifting the attention and, rightly so, by proclaiming that it’s the consumers asking them for shiny apples and steaks by the 300 grams.

Every year, 15-25kg of food per person is tossed. By adding the waste from food production, we hit 180kg per person per year!

Are industry and distribution the only culprits? Note that these sectors are making an effort to decrease food waste by donating to Restos Du Coeur, for example, or to social grocery stores… As pushed by whom? By consumers. Let’s continue to motivate them!

Better buying and less trashing: the 2 anti-food waste themes

“He who has never wasted food, throws the first apple.” Not all are guilty, but nevertheless responsible. At two points in our consumption, we can now:

  • Buy differently: we’re “difficult;” we want high-grade apples, yoghurt in 12-pot batches. What if we stepped back a bit?
  • Trash less: we’re throwing out products that we consider expired, even if they’re still good! What if we stopped being paranoid about usage dates?

There’s a major difference between the best before date (“best if used before…”) and the use-by date (“use by…”). Only the latter, once passed, represents a health risk. The assertion “best if used” is safe: at worst, only the taste and nutritional value are altered.

What are some examples of expired foods that are still edible? Chocolate. It can still be eaten months after the “best before” date. What about preserves? You can… preserve them! For years!

8 actions for reducing food waste

  1. Buy consciously: don’t push aside ugly vegetables; buy only what you need and for that, choose bulk (to get just the right amount you need).
  2. Conserve better: prepare foods that have a shorter shelf life first; cook right after grocery shopping and then freeze.
  3. Act with agribusiness (restaurants, distribution) to reduce waste. Apps like Too Good To Go prevent shops, restaurants and supermarkets from tossing pounds of food… And when you go to the restaurant, remember to ask for a doggy bag or bring your own container.
  4. Eat everything that’s edible: tops/stems (carrots, radishes, cabbage, fennel, leek, turnip), wilted salads, cauliflower leaves and trunks all can be cooked. Discover recipes for what you usually throw away and learn how to cook the less “tasty” parts of your vegetables.
  5. Accommodate leftovers (or freeze them). Tiffin boxes (which will soon be available on Usitoo) allow for easy transportation of leftovers to school or work.
  6. Preserve for longer: dehydrate fruits and vegetables, keep in jars, freeze, make juice or ice creams.
  7. Consume locally and in-season, again and again. By favoring a short and direct flow between the producer and consumer, waste is avoided. You can even pick your own vegetables directly in the fields.
  8. Give a second life to food waste: you could, for example, use tea bags for self-care or make beauty masks with coffee grounds…

 

Recycle your food waste: long live compost!

Sometimes we don’t have a choice; it has to be thrown out. In the bin go your peelings, eggshells, that old rotten carrot from the bottom of the fridge, the mashed potatoes your teen left abandoned in the pan for 3 days, the contents of the freezer that broke down while you were on holiday…

Does all this waste go in the trash? Not ideal. We can recycle this organic waste using 4 methods:

  1. put in the appropriate bag for weekly pickup (in some communes). We hope that this spreads!
  2. they can be used for compost: in your garden or even on a balcony;
  3. they can be thrown into a neighborhood compost;
  4. they can be used as chicken feed.

Are you committed to reducing food waste? Or to recycling? It’s not that complicated.

Here at Usitoo, we’re allergic to waste. Small gesture upon small gesture, in our local communities, every day… we’re paying attention to waste! You know our philosophy: we’re a player in the circular economy. Nothing must be lost, everything is recreated, recycles itself and… can be rented. Take a look at the kitchen section of our catalogue. To prepare delicious dishes, waste less and conserve better.

Photo: Sean Aranda:  Rob Greenfield and one of his “Food Waste Fiascos”.

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