onsdag 20 mars 2013

Shop smart to prevent waste!

It's estimated that 1 in every 5 bags of food purchased is thrown away. For university students like ourselves who have limited income and financial support, being careful and reducing the amount of food waste that we produce can save us lots of money. Every year, the average person in Europe and North America throws away 95-115kg of edible food (RIO +20). So how can we minimise our food waste? Here are 5 tips that every student should know.

green pea soup with bacon

1. Only buy as much as you need for the next few days. Who are we kidding? Parties and impromptu dinner after class with friends always arise so to avoid ending up with rotting food hiding in the back of the fridge, only buy food when you know you're going to be cooking dinner.

2. Store fruits separately in the fridge. Many fruits and vegetables produce a gas called ethylene which causes them to ripen faster. By storing fruits separately in the fridge, the cool temperature decreases the rate of ethylene production and your fruits and vegetables will stay fresh for longer.

3. Use the freezer! Portion food into serving sizes before freezing so you can cook a little as you need it. Freezing portion sizes means that you don't have to defrost a large amount and cook it all if you only want a little. You can take what you need as you need it.

4. Buy in bulk, cook with friends or corridor mates and share the cost. A group of friendly Flogsta students meets at ICA every Sunday evening to buy ingredients and cook dinner together. They manage to eat cheaply and learn from each other. It's a win win situation.

5. If you have ingredients to use up, make soup but keep it simple. All too often I watch my flatmate throw in as many ingredients as possible and then wonder why her dinner tastes horrible. Remember that not everything tastes good together. If you're not sure, there's always Google.

Cathy Xiao Chen

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