The ABC’s War on Waste has got me supercharged about food waste. According to the show, and NSW Government data, the average Australian household throws out 345 kilograms of food waste a year. If you think about that in dollar terms – assume an average of $5 per kilogram of food – that is $1725 a year! Let alone the cost to the environment of the food that ends up in landfill centres.
I have a natural aversion to food waste and like to get creative. For example this week I was invited to my mother in law’s house for a beautiful roast leg of lamb. She generously packed us off home with some leftovers “for sandwiches” (what a sweet). Knowing that sandwiches were already made for the week, I made a middle eastern lamb “pizza” for dinner the next night, using the cooked lamb, peas, mint, fetta, hummus and a smidge of pomegranate molasses that I had in the cupboard, all on puff pastry. YUMMO. Crunchy deliciousness and no food waste.
Despite my commitment, I felt like I was still finding food that was past its useful life up the back nether regions of my fridge and so I decided to take action. I needed a new system that would enable me to use my fridge like a well ordered machine that would tell me what foods I needed to consume now or soon. The obligatory before shots:
I reuse the plastic bags for vegs that I buy and wash in the mesh bags when I get home – this keeps the veg fresher for longer. Bit of a mish-mash of all sorts of things right there in the fridge as you can see. There is food behind the front row too, because our fridge is quite deep. And there is no recognisable system of organisation in the fridge door full of condiments etc.
So I planned the system. Really I wanted my fridge to tell me what I needed to use today, this week or this month. I wanted to know whether the condiments needed to be used in the next three months or would keep for longer. I wanted to be able to look into my fridge and decide what to shop around, for the next grocery shop. What needed to be used up next?
A couple of containers from the dollar shop (Home Base in Australia), my labeller and voila. System complete (apologies for poor photo quality – fridge light interfered….):
For a little closer look at the labelling:
Have you got any other fridge food waste hacks that I could implement? Hope you are all well.