Waste not, want not: 5 food storage tips to make your home a zero waste zone
Did you know that we throw away enough food every year worldwide to feed the 900 million people going hungry? It's astonishing how much food waste is still produced every single day.
And while innovators like Silo restaurant in Brighton are pioneering the zero waste movement, there are plenty of ways we can all make small changes, day-to-day, to cut down on the sheer volume of food consigned to the bin.
So without further ado, we present our 5 top tips for reducing food waste by smartening up your storage act.
1. Whizz away waste
A good blender will zap the saddest of fruit and veg into a superfood smoothie. Equally, a decent food processor will whizz up any combination of wilted vegetables cooked in stock. Voilà, a hearty soup to see you through your workday lunches. Plus, individually frozen portions make a healthy ready meal in a hurry.
These soup and sauce storage bags from Lakeland will save valuable space in your freezer. The write-on labels make it easy to keep track of the contents and use-by date.
2. Scrapheap challenge
Sometimes that carrot lurking at the back of the fridge has gone too far even to be salvaged by a soup. But that doesn't mean it's ripe for chucking. Starting your own compost heap is an excellent way for gardeners to improve soil quality. Check out the BBC's guide on getting started. Make sure you opt for a metal bin rather than a plastic container to store fruit and vegetable scraps indoors to deter fruit flies and mask odours.
This Kitchen Craft stainless steel container from Wayfair would be a stylish addition to any kitchen and won't break the bank.
3. Ice, ice baby
Ice isn't the only thing you can freeze in an ice cube tray. All manner of other produce is getting a piece of the action nowadays in the war on food waste.
Batch cook meals for babies and freeze individual portions to satisfy teeny tummies. Use them to store freshly cut herbs in olive oil, homemade stock and individual pesto portions. Alternatively, freeze cubes of wine for cooking or whipping up a jug of sangria in a rush.
4. When life gives you lemons...
...Jar them. Ice and a slice is a refreshing way to liven up your g&t, after all. What's more, a squeeze of citrus makes for a healthy salad dressing. But using up that bag of lemons by the end of the week may prove tricky.
When you find yourself with a few mouldy morsels languishing at the bottom of the fruit bowl, throw them into a sealable jar and fill it up with water.
Stored this way, lemons and limes will last for up to a month in the fridge. That's four times longer than they'll keep on dry land. Waste not, want not.
5. Get yourself in a pickle
Pickling vegetables is a tasty way to preserve them for months to come. This article on how to pickle basically everything is a great place to start.
Wash and save jars once you've polished off that jam, peanut butter, olives or whatever else is lurking in the back of the cupboard. You could soon add a side of pickled cucumber, radishes, onions, tomatoes, courgettes, mushrooms, carrots, asparagus and peppers to jazz up your dinner plate.
But why stop there? Pickling fruit like blueberries, watermelon and rhubarb can extend their shelf-life by months.
After all, small steps can add up to big leaps when it comes to eradicating food waste from your home for good.