Your best friend in fighting food waste

The Great Green Team

11 July 2022

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Food Waste Recycling

I cook to live, my husband lives to cook.

We share the cooking. On my days everybody knows what they’ll be getting as I have four signature dishes (by signature dish, I mean ‘thing I can cook without a recipe’). I’m no foodie, I like to get cooking out of the way as quickly as possible so I can get on with living.

My cooking habits are good in terms of waste prevention because I buy the same things every week and everything gets used up.

But my husband is a different animal. On his cooking days we never know what we’ll be getting because it seems to depend on what the food fairies whisper in his ear. I shop online because I hate supermarkets. If I ask him what he wants me to add to the online shop, he gets all stressy, saying ‘I can’t shop like that, I don’t know what I’ll feel like cooking!’ (No, I’m not married to Gordon Ramsay).

So I leave him to do his own shopping in person in the actual supermarket. He likes to see, touch and smell food; it inspires him. I think there must be some French strain somewhere in the Birmingham/Dundee DNA mash-up of his family.

This dual shopping routine is far from ideal, since it means he might buy things I’ve already bought. It’s why we ended up recently with three full jars of ground ginger. Not the end of the world, of course, since it stores well and we like ginger biscuits, but that’s the only over-consumption I’m admitting to since I’d be too ashamed to tell you the whole truth.

Obviously, we compost unavoidable food waste in our Green Johanna, but composting should ideally be the final stage in the food waste hierarchy after meal planning and food storage. The environmental cost involved in the production and transporting of food is so high that prevention is better than composting.

We know we should plan meals in advance based on knowing what we already have. We know that, and yet sometimes the pace of modern life means we fall short. Stuff happens. We forget our list. We stress shop. Our husband fails to check the ground ginger situation.

So, when I read about the Kitche free mobile app I was immediately interested.

Kitche’s premise is that fighting food waste starts at home by buying what you eat and eating what you buy.  If we did this, we would help prevent the staggering 4.5 million tonnes of food waste created in the UK each year – enough to fill eight Wembley stadiums.

It goes without saying that by doing this you will save yourself a chunk of money without even depriving yourself of anything. The average family in the UK throws food worth £730 in the bin every year. When it comes to tightening the belt on household expenditure, such unnecessary waste is low-hanging fruit.

The app enables you to scan food products from major supermarkets receipts with a snap of your camera so you can keep track of food you’ve got at home, even when you’re on the move. It categorises the products, adds reminders and tracks where you create waste. There’s also advice, food tips, recipes and activity packs for children.

In this way you stop robotic consumption and shop smartly, not blindly. Things are looking up – I feel the days of ground ginger overload are well and truly behind us.


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