How To Minimise Food Waste

16 July 2017

As an aspiring zero-waster, I'm always trying to find ways to minimise waste - whether it be food waste or non-decomposable waste that will eventually end up in landfills. The average household will throw away a tonne of waste every year - that's the same weight as a car! And every year, we produce 3% more waste than the preceding year.

Now you may think that because food decomposes, it's fine to leave it in a landfill - WRONG. When you send food waste to a landfill, it creates dangerous methane gas which is a greenhouse gas that affects our climate. But what about composting? Composting promotes aerobic decomposition which creates less methane gas and generates nutrient-rich dirt that can be reused and recycled.

However, I know that being environmentally-friendly is a long and arduous task. Sometimes it can cost us a pretty penny and I know that being completely green is unrealistic. But there are little changes you can make to your every-day life that can benefit the planet we live on and help us become more zero waste.

Supermarkets alone throw away 115,000 tonnes of food waste every year and this figure has sparked mass controversy. The first food-waste supermarket was opened last year called The Real Junk Food Project and it aims to sell off food from local supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise be thrown away. 'Communal Fridges' have also began popping up, whereby the local neighbourhood can donate food that is close to expiry to a communal fridge for others to use instead, helping to reduce food waste.

In Manchester, we don't have anything like this but I discovered a pretty neat app called Too Good To Go which is available all-throughout the UK and it shares a similar concept. The app lists local businesses that have signed up with TGTG and it lets customers buy leftover food for as little as £2 and a maximum of £3.80. Pick-up times are always at the end of opening hours (understandably) so this can range from 3pm all the way to 10pm but for the price, there really isn't anything to complain about.

I decided to try it out myself and it did not disappoint. The app is incredibly user-friendly with a very soft interface. The app will locate nearby businesses listed with TGTG or you can manually select a location yourself. Each business will describe what you will get from them and also detail their pick-up time slots. You pick what you want, pay via the app, pick-up at the allocated time and show your code when you arrive - it's that simple.

I decided to pick up a box from Kettlebell Kitchen in Ancoats which is a high-protein clean-eating fast food restaurant located just opposite a Pure Gym in Manchester. I had previously eaten here and enjoyed their fresh and healthy Kettleboxes and their gym-themed restaurant in definitely Instagrammable. 

This box, although seemingly small - could dish out three lunches or two larger meals and it contained chicken, sweet potato mash, kidney beans, butter beans and peas. All for £2.50!

These are perfect for snacking, a healthy and affordable takeaway alternative, for late night shifts or why not try donating one to the homeless?

About a third of the food produced on the planet never gets eaten. Think of all the waste water, carbon emissions and non-decomposable packaging we create, just from food waste alone. Considering we've been graced with a planet as naturally beautiful as the one we live in, I think it's rather ungrateful of us to then destroy it. Don't you agree?

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