Top tips for food waste

Each year in the UK, we waste around 4.5 million tonnes of edible food, enough to fill 38 million wheelie bins. By not wasting food we can save ourselves money but also do our bit to minimise the impact on the environment. So here’s some top tips from the Warwickshire Recycles team on how to make the most of the food that you’ve got.

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You can make pineapple last longer by cutting off the leaves and storing it upside down in your fridge. Simply cut off the leaves and turn it over. This helps redistribute the juice that pooled to the base during shipping.

It might be a really handy place to keep milk, but the door of the fridge is not good for keeping it fresh. Especially in warm weather. Instead, you should store all your dairy products on a lower or middle shelf - this is the best place for milk.  

The ideal fridge temperature is between 0 and 5 degrees Celsius or 32 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

To keep your herbs fresh, place green onions in a tall glass or jar on your kitchen counter. Ideally, the bulb should be in an inch of water near a sunny window. For best results, change this water every day. This will keep your spring onions crisp. You can even use this trick to grow new onions from an old bulb.

Berries are prone to rot if they aren’t washed properly before storing in the fridge. Instead of rinsing berries under the tap, soak in a solution of water and vinegar at a 10-1 ratio for five minutes. Once soaked, drain and let dry. This will kill any microorganism or bugs speeding up their rotting process.

Celery gone limp? Simply cut off the bottom and place in a glass of water and it will revive within an hour. Click on the article to find out how to regrow the bit you chopped off.

Store your potatoes in a cool, dry, dark place, ideally in a cloth bag. To keep them at their prime store with a ripe apple. The apple emits ethylene gas and other organic alcohols as it respires, which suppress the growth of the potatoes’ cells, thereby keeping them from sprouting. They should stay fresh for up to eight weeks. Every day is a school day.

Many vegetables and fruits have a low carbon footprint but check where they are grown and packaged before buying. Compare strawberries bought in season locally at 490g carbon dioxide emissions per 250g punnet with those grown locally in a hothouse out of season, or flown in from South Africa, at a whopping 3.65kg carbon dioxide emissions for the same weight.

If you have some leftover food but aren't sure what to do with it, try the Love Food Hate Waste recipe finder.

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Love Food Hate Waste - Recipes (opens new window)

No need to peel! Whether it's mash, roasties or boiled potatoes keeping the skins on increases the iron content by 80% and reduces food waste.

Frozen food is a great way to get some nutrients in your diet. It's a common misconception that freezing removes vitamins and minerals from food. Keep freezing.

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