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Six Ways to Reduce Food Waste

We’ve all been guilty of it at one time or another and it’s easily done, yet wasting food has such a detrimental effect on our planet, as well as our pocket. According to British charity WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme), in the UK alone we throw away 6.6 million tonnes of household food waste every year. And even more shockingly, almost three quarters of that (70%) is food we could have eaten. When food waste is disposed of in landfill, it rots and becomes a massive source of methane, a potent greenhouse gas with 21 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. Even growing and transporting the food which goes to waste emits harmful carbon pollution, so it’s easy to see the problem. But how do we help? Well, here at ZWILLING we are great believers in cutting down on household food waste and to help get you started on a new path to sustainability, we have suggestions for six ways to reduce food waste.

1. PLAN MEALS AHEAD

It sounds simple enough but when was the last time you planned out a week’s worth of meals? Most of us have a rough idea of some of the dishes we’ll cook during the week or at the weekend but by sitting down and properly planning mealtimes, even down to what you’re having for lunch, can really cut back on food waste. Sit down with pen and paper or use a app such as AnyList and decide what you fancy for the week ahead. Do this before a big food shop and you’ll not only cut back on food you end up throwing away, but you’ll also save money on the shopping bill, too.

Try to vary the meals you plan for and where possible, double up on some of the ingredients. For instance, minced beef or vegetarian Quorn can easily make spaghetti bolognaise, cottage pie and chilli, so that’s three meals already. Get a good balance of meat, fish, dairy, fresh vegetables and a selection of herbs and spices that can easily liven up mealtimes. Reducing food waste starts with careful planning so simply by only purchasing the goods you need to prepare the meals on your list, you will immediately reduce the possibility of having food hanging around that goes past its ‘best before’ date and ends up being thrown away. Plan ahead, shop with a list, reduce food waste.

2. START VACUUM SEALING

This is where ZWILLING’s new FRESH & SAVE food preservation solutions can really help. The Vacuum Pump, Vacuum Boxes, Vacuum Bags and Vacuum Wine Sealer are all designed to help reduce food waste by vacuum sealing produce, meals and leftovers to preserve flavours and vitamins while keeping food fresh for up to five times’ longer.

The vacuum sealed boxes and bags can be stored in the fridge, freezer or cupboard depending on their contents, and help make life easier and more convenient. Pre-prepared dishes can be re-heated and even placed straight into the oven up to 180°C {with lid removed} if using one of the glass Vacuum Boxes; lunches can be made the day before and kept overnight in our Vacuum Lunchbox with its separate compartments for sweet and savoury snacks; leftovers can be kept fresh and the Vacuum Bags can also be used for healthy sous-cooking. There are so many uses for our FRESH & SAVE products that once you start vacuum sealing, you’ll instantly see the benefits and start saving. Using these items also helps reduce food packaging too, as you can buy more items loose then store them in our Vacuum Boxes and Bags. Food stays fresh, it’s sustainable, saves you time and money and reduces food waste. It’s a win: win all round.

3. GET INTO BATCH COOKING

The next time you cook up something like a soup, stew, pie, casserole, pasta dish or anything big and bulky, make more than you need at the time and save the rest for another day. By getting into the habit of batch cooking, you’ll begin making up days’ worth of meals in one go, which can then be vacuum sealed and stored in the fridge or freezer ready for re-heating another day. As well as savoury meals, you can also batch bake puddings and desserts and even biscuits, cakes and traybakes. Pretty much anything really!

To keep it all fresh, use the ZWILLING FRESH & SAVE wireless Vacuum Pump, which works by placing it on the valve of the Vacuum Box or Bag filled with your batch cooked food then sucking out the air inside. It can be recharged using the included USB and it starts at the touch of a button; automatically stopping once the correct vacuum is achieved. It’s so simple to use, ultra-quiet and compact too. Perfect for keeping contents fresh ready for another day.

4. LOVE YOUR LEFTOVERS

Sometimes we all cook too much and when it comes to dishing up meals, there’s a decent sized portion or two left over. Whatever you do, don’t throw it away! Pop the leftovers into a FRESH & SAVE Vacuum Box or Bag , suck the air out using our Vacuum Pump and hey presto, you have a delicious meal or snack that can be stored in the fridge or freezer for another day.

Vacuum sealing not only keeps food fresh for up to five times’ longer, but it will also help to preserve food’s flavour, vitamins and nutrients, too. Perfect for pasta, salads, soups, stews and casseroles.

5. USE AN APP

Now that we live in a world where pretty much everything is available via an app, use this technology to your advantage and use this technology to your advantage and download apps that can help reduce food waste. ZWILLING has developed its Culinary World app, which can be downloaded from the Google Play that is just the thing. Every FRESH & SAVE Vacuum Box and Bag features a QR code that you can scan with the Culinary World app.

Once activated and with a few simple details keyed in, the app will remind you of the food’s extended shelf life date when the time comes, reducing food waste even further. The app also comes with additional features including shopping lists, recipes and more, so there are plenty of ways to be more conscious of what you’re buying and what you’re throwing away.

6. ORGANISE YOUR KITCHEN

It may sound obvious but one of the main reasons we waste food is because we double up on buying items we already have at home. Take a weekend or a rainy afternoon and dedicate it to sorting out and organising the kitchen cupboards, fridge and freezer. Take all the contents out, check the ‘use by’ dates and place anything near it’s ‘best before’ date near the front so you can use it ahead of anything else.

Make a list of everything you currently have and then stick it to the fridge or the inside of the cabinet door so that next time you’re making a shopping list, you know if you’ve run out of anything. By keeping ahead of store cupboard essentials as well as chilled and frozen items, you can start to rotate things that need using up and avoid buying things you don’t need.

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