GOING TO BATTLE WITH FOOD WASTE
Every year households in the UK produce 6.6Mt of food waste and that figure doesn’t even include food waste from Retail, Wholesale, or as a result of food manufacturing. So we created the first sustainable bread box driven by today's circular economy and the first of a series of books on Sustainable Baking and Cooking. Not only does it teach how to Bake 16 amazing loaves this bread making box is full of good body and soul.
Our BLB bakery prioritize minimizing food waste every day and many of our recipes overlap in use of ingredients. Frequently, our bakers craft recipes or extra baker’s treats with the by-products of our production so that we waste as little as possible. But our Bakers are passionate about eliminating food waste in their own lives too. In our new recipe book, Don’t Waste A Crumb: Real Bread Recipes No Waste Baking and Cooking, our Bakers share some of their favorite recipes to recycle ingredients and breads in the kitchen. Plus, by baking real bread at home, you have more control over the food waste that is created as opposed to relying on manufacturing.
We want to help you become more sustainable in your kitchens. Below are a couple beginning tips to help understand where food waste in our homes may come from.
One way to combat food waste is understanding terminology on date labels. The labels can be confusing or misleading and may lead to increased amounts of food waste. Here are a few definitions and recommendations we’ve gathered regarding food waste and date labels:
‘Best before’ refers to quality: your food will be at its best before the date given. After this date, you may be sacrificing some quality but the food is still perfectly safe to eat. Make the determination based on the way the food looks and smells rather than the date. With proper food storage, many items can be eaten well after their “best before” date. Here’s a key to a few items and how long after the date they can be eaten:
- Crisps – one month
- Biscuits – six months
- Cereals – six months
- Canned food – 12 months
- Confectionary – 12 months
- Pasta sauce – 12 months
- Dried pasta – three years!
‘Use by’ actually refers to safety! You must not eat food past the ‘use by’ date. With these foods, you cannot always smell the bacteria that causes food to spoil. The food may appear perfectly fine to eat, but could still lead to food poisoning. A tip: you can freeze food right up to and including the ‘use by’ date. If you’re not sure you will eat it in time, freeze it for another day, don’t throw it out.
“DISPLAY UNTIL / SELL BY”
These dates are for retailers – not us at home. You don’t need to worry about these.
Another way to help eliminate food waste is recycling food from one recipe into another. Not only does this eliminate that inevitable toss to the bin of leftovers, it’s a great way to be present and mindful when you are cooking or baking. Challenging yourself to repurpose baked goods, fruits, veggies etc. keeps you on your toes in the kitchen and might lead to finding a new favourite recipe.
Before you go shopping think about how many meals you plan to eat at home that week (probably more than usual right now– or maybe you’re like me and tired of your own cooking by now). Regardless, it’s a good idea to have an idea of how many meals you will cook at home, especially when you are buying produce that may not keep as long. And do not forget to check the fridge before you leave– I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to throw out a milk carton before it was empty because I bought a new one before I emptied the first.
THINK TWICE ABOUT BUYING IN BULK
Buying in bulk only saves money if you are able to use the food before it spoils. A hot deal at the grocery story may seem convenient but be aware that’s money straight into the bin if you buy more than you need.
Not to get too technical, but it is important to note that as produce decomposes it gives off gases that can affect the decomposition of other produce near it. As a good rule of thumb, store bananas, apples, and tomatoes by themselves, and store fruits and vegetables in different bins. Another note about fruits: wait to wash berries until you want to eat them to prevent mold.
FIND RECIPES THAT EMPTY THE FRIDGE
Casseroles, stir-fries, frittatas, soups, and smoothies are great ways to use leftovers too. Search for recipes that provide suggestions for using leftover ingredients. Speaking of… you can find plenty of inspiration in Don’t Waste A Crumb: Real Bread Recipes No Waste Baking and Cooking. Head over to the shop to check it out. So I will leave in baking peace to try some of the recipes for yourself, you can get a copy of the book the Real Bread Box that’s makes 16 loaves and its delivered to your door for £33, saving you £15 already.
Until the next time “Baking Love to you all”- Greg the Baker