We had scraps for morning tea yesterday...and they were delicious and full of nutirents. Baked potato skin chips and roasted pumpkin seeds. Both would usually become compost or worm food - but not this week. During our no-spend challenge I have become super sensitive to food waste. I've unfortunately become a bit of a food nazi. "Make sure you eat all that!". "You can only have one egg!".
First I was rummaging through dumpsters, and now i'm feeding my family scraps! Think I’m weird? Food waste is a serious issue. Recent figures show that Australians waste $5 billion a year on food, throwing away 3 million tonnes of food. Some experts believe that we’re throwing away at least 20% of the food we buy. That's equivalent to buying five bags of groceries and throwing one straight in the bin!
Clearly that’s a huge waste of money! But more importantly, food waste exacerbates the ecological impact of food production and processing. Put simply, if less food were wasted, less land and water would be needed for agricultural purposes. (Here’s just one recent example of the impact of agriculture on threatened species).
To educate Australians about the consequences of food waste and to generate greater awareness, ‘Do Something!’ recently launched the ‘FoodWise’ campaign. Their manifesto is definitely worth a quick read. I particularly like their discussion of the ecological footprint of the humble fish finger. It provides a simple example of the hidden ecological impact of processed food.
There are some great resources online to help reduce food waste at home, including Love Food Hate Waste and Left Over Chef. There are also loads of bloggers sharing their own hints on food waste. Some of my favourite hints can be found here, here, here, and here.
P.S. I have to fess-up. We have broken the challenge a few times. I bought a train ticket one day after discovering that riding to work evey day, after not riding for three months, is HARD work! I also gave-in to the temptation of a packet of chocolate bullets (unfortunately not fairtrade chocolate) in a charity chocolate box at work. Chocolate also featured in Daddy Eco's slip off the bandwagon. He bought a chocolate bar on day 1 of the challenge and then he and Little Eco couldn't resist their usual Sunday stroll to get the paper and a bag of lollies. So all up we spent less than $10 in the first week.
Only 3 days to go.