FareShare is urging consumers to think carefully about food waste when shopping this festive season.
According to the Australian Retailers Association and Roy Morgan Research, Australians will spend an astonishing $19 billion on food in the lead up to Christmas. A significant proportion of this will be dumped.
FareShare rescues food that would otherwise go to waste and cooks 1.2m meals a year for people in need. However, much of the food left over from Christmas, such as cooked meat, cannot be donated for human consumption and ends up in landfill causing serious pollution.
FareShare CEO Marcus Godinho said it’s possible to enjoy a fantastic feast without waste through proper meal planning, storage and re-use of ingredients.
“Many of us fall into the trap of catering for far more people than we will actually have around the table. For example, you don’t need a whole turkey to feed a family of six – a turkey breast roll will be equally delicious.
“A careful menu to guide you through the festive season can help ensure everyone is catered for without creating needless waste.”
FareShare offers the following tips to cut food waste and the associated loss of energy, water and other resources.
- Create a shopping list tailored to the number of guests you are catering for or sharing with.
- Be creative about recycling any leftovers. Cooked meat makes for great sandwiches, casseroles, stir fries, salads etc. See our chefs’ recipes for suggestions.
- Refrigerate leftovers in appropriate containers to extend their lifetime.
- Know the difference between ‘use by’ and ‘best before’. The latter is a guide for optimum condition and doesn’t mean the food is no longer edible.
- Take advantage of holiday opening hours which make it easy to shop for last minute items.
Godinho said that while Christmas is a time of feast and celebration for most, there are thousands of Victorians struggling to put food on the table.
This year FareShare is catering for hundreds of vulnerable families who would otherwise miss out on a Christmas dinner.
“It is a tragedy that so much food goes to waste when people in crisis can’t afford nutritious meals,” said Godinho.