Christmas feasts add to huge food waste

A food waste expert says society needs to rethink its Christmas feasting rituals that promote excessive food waste.
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A food waste expert says society needs to rethink its Christmas feasting rituals that promote excessive food waste.

Dr Bhavna Middha, Research Fellow, College of Design and Social Context says, “Entertainment, parties and eating out are front and centre as we approach the holiday season.

“We all like to cook, buy and take large amounts of food in this festive season, both as hosts and guests and many people think it is better to have too much food than not enough. But our shared practices need to be put under scrutiny, as they can often lead to extravagant food waste.

Food waste is an endemic issue in Australia. A total of 7.3 million tonnes of food are wasted in Australia per year, which has significant environmental consequences.

Dr Bhavna says, “Reducing food waste could save the average family between $2,200 to $3,800 AUD per year. But merely informing householders about food waste is not an adequate strategy to bring about change in everyday routines and activities.”

How to prevent food waste

He shares where we can start to improve our contribution to food waste:

Stop over-catering: we need to rethink how much food we supply and to accept that the food should be finished or suitably distributed by the end of events.

Limit bulk-buying: structural issues such as price gouging by supermarkets as well as how everyday convenience is constructed through bulk buying needs to be investigated to determine how bulk buying is reduced beyond special times.

Understand food longevity: we need a better understanding of what kind of food ages well or badly in storage and use foods before they reach their recommended best before dates.

He adds, “Additionally, many of us don’t particularly know how long to keep leftovers in the fridge if we do want to save them for later. Our research found that 17% of fridges in Australian households were too cold or too warm for food storage. This means that the food we buy and store, fresh or leftover, is prone to wastage, especially if the fridge is inefficient.”

“These findings point to larger questions of relationships between food provisioning, eating and refrigerators and how these (mis)connections may be contributing to global food waste.”

Dr Bhavna Middha’s research focuses on exploring everyday shared practices around food, waste and energy in the context of sustainable consumption.

Your Top 5 Christmas Socialising Dilemmas Solved

How to use up food past its sell by date

Tips to reduce food waste

This is where the Healthy Mummy meal plans come in SUPER handy! Great way to prevent food waste and to help you know what you have on hand at all times to save out of date foods.

Four Mums share the Meal Plans that helped them lose 184 kilos!

  1. Meal plan, meal plan, meal plan!!
  2. Purchase frozen fruit and vegetables
  3. Smaller shops more often
  4. Regularly check used by dates
  5. Freeze bread and leftovers

Ways to stop wasting food and save yourself THOUSANDS of DOLLARS!

Read more on how to help with the cleanup after Christmas Day – Tips To Help You Manage The Post-Christmas Clean up!

Plus try these 7 delicious and healthy meals to make with ham leftovers!

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