Did you know that the average family wastes around £700 worth of food every year? We may worry more now about plastic waste and general rubbish buildup than ever before, but our food waste caddies are overflowing, and we don’t even know it!
The irony is, of course, the fact that food production is perhaps the worst thing for our environment, creating endless greenhouse gases and using as many as 20,000 litres for one measly kilogram. As such, you could say that our efforts elsewhere are pretty much useless until we turn our attention to the pressing problem of food waste.
Of course, most areas do now offer food recycling, but that in itself doesn’t mean we can keep chucking food away without a thought. This is an especially pressing problem with Christmas fast upon us. At the festive season, more than any other time, we’re guilty of throwing away insane amounts of uneaten grub.
If you’re spending time thinking about how to have a more sustainable Christmas this year, then, reducing food waste needs to be at the top of your list. Forget cutting back on wrapping paper; keep reading to find out how you can really make a difference when this festive season rolls around.
Buy a crown, not a turkey
There may be something magical about a whole turkey at Christmas, but let’s be honest; very few of us need it. In fact, our turkey carcasses are typically so packed with meat when we chuck them that it’d be considered a crime in any other country. If you strip those bones until they’re shining, then, by all means, buy your whole turkey this season. If, however, you leave a lot of meat, then think again.
Turkey farming in itself is an enormous environmental strain through the year, and settling for a crown instead can at least help that strain go towards consumption rather than waste. What’s more, crowns contain all the meat most of us get off a whole turkey, anyway! You can even stuff a crown just the same and yet chuck away half the meat in the process. That’s what we call Christmas magic.
Forget the Christmas pudding
Sad as it might seem, you can probably also do away with the Christmas pudding. Honestly, how often do you actually eat the thing? It’s astounding how few of us get around to this Christmas staple, what with the massive meals, table of chocolates, and mince pies galore. Still, we buy a pudding every year. Our outlandish suggestion is that you just don’t bother this time. Let’s be frank; your guests won’t exactly go without any other nice sweet treats if they fancy them, will they?
Focus on key pieces for your buffet
Christmas evening and boxing day buffets have to be the worst cause for food waste of the whole festive season. We plan elaborate pieces and entire tables filled with food only to, not altogether surprisingly, chuck them out at the end of the day. Worse, the leave-out nature of food like this means we can’t even reuse it! But, there’s an answer to reducing food waste even here, and it comes in the form of focusing on key pieces rather than whole mountains of food.
While it’s nice to do an impressive spread, there’s simply no need for it. Besides, you can still impress guests by focusing on these few fun, festive party food ideas and others like them. By centering your buffet around these critical pieces instead of countless plates of food, you guarantee the festive wow-factor without putting out enough food to feed an army when everyone’s already full!
Plan meals around your leftovers
This may be an oldie, but it’s a goodie and involves planning leftovers around the food you’ve got for the foreseeable after the Christmas period. As well as helping you to reduce wastage drastically, this is ideal for getting you off the cooking hook for the rest of the holidays. What’s not to love?
Don’t think, either, that leftovers have to mean eating the same old thing for weeks on end. A turkey and cranberry sandwich or two probably won’t go amiss, but you can also get creative here. Why not make turkey curries, stews, and soups? Shove those extra brussels in a pasta dish, or get creative with a brussel sprout hash. The Christmas leftover world is your oyster. Make the most of it this year to keep your caddy empty for (most of) the festive season.
* Collaborative Post