By now we are all aware food waste is a big problem in the UK. And let’s be real, we’re all guilty of chucking that speckled banana out rather than bothering to whizz it into a smoothie.
But here’s a reality check. According to WRAP, UK households waste over 6 million tonnes of food every year, 5 million of which is still edible at the point of hitting the bin. That’s enough carrot peelings and bread crusts to fill 38 million wheelie bins or 90 Royal Albert Halls.
We’re not suggesting you sift through stinky rubbish and dust off old spuds. But there are simple ways to reduce food waste with a Liebherr fridge. And it just happens to be Stop Food Waste Day, an international day of action in the fight against food waste.
Here are 7 tips on how to use up food and keep it fresher for longer.
- Store, store, store!
Storing food correctly will help minimise food wastage. So cover and seal raw meat. A loaf of bread will go stale faster in an airless fridge than in a bread bin, so keep it out. With fresh foods, such as salads and herbs, keep them away from the back of the fridge — the temperature back there is much colder and they are likely to freeze and go off. Luckily, Liebherr some fridges come with spacious lower climate-controlled compartments for salad and veg. AKA: very clever crispers, that add extra-long freshness and days on to storage time.
- Eyes on the prize
Being able to see what’s in your fridge will keep your weekly shopping bill down and keep your food fresher for longer. Fact. What’s going to help? The Liebherr light tower illuminates the fridge interior so your food is always under the spotlight. Appliances include telescopic rails on which drawers, pull-out shelves and bottle holders smoothly slide back and forth. Fully extendable glass shelves can be moved to make space for tall containers and make looking for that three-day old yoghurt you need to eat much easier. Hurray!
- Get Smart
With summer holidays booked it makes sense to embrace Liebherr’s smart technology. That way you can switch to Holiday Mode to save energy and thanks to Bottle Timer your fridge will remember any forgotten drinks in the freezer. No one wants to get home to burst prosecco. There’s waste and there’s the really disappointing sticky waste. Liebherr fridges have built in NoFrost technology, which avoids a build up of ice (less chance of food freezing and going off) and so your defrosting days are over. No ice, ice baby!
- Plan your meals
Saving food from the bin means saving money and reducing food waste is good for the planet, as it helps slow down global warming. Planning ahead sounds simple enough, but it’s all too tempting to call in a takeaway after a tough day and leave your groceries neglected.
Visit the Love Food Hate Waste website for a handy everyday portion planner, which provides guidance on how much food you need for each person, for each meal. It’s simple to use and will prevent you from cooking too much.
- Chill out
Yes we’re on about temperature again, but this is important stuff in the war against food waste. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) recommends your ridge temp should be between 3-5°C, but according to Lovefoodastewaste.com the average UK fridge is at least 2°C too warm. Terrible news. That’s why the equivalent of 3.1 million glasses of milk are poured down our kitchen sinks every day in the UK. Get the temperature right and your food lasts longer.
And all Liebherr fridges are cool in the right places and super-efficient energy-wise.
- Get used to ugly vegetables
We’re a bunch of veg snobs. Apparently, 20-40% of fruit and veg that are misshapen, marked, discoloured or oddly sized are chucked before even leaving the farm. If we embrace fruit and veg in all shapes and sizes waste will fall. Schemes like London-based Oddbox give their surplus to food banks via City Harvest and wonkyvegboxes.co.uk do something similar in Leicestershire. You can lean into brands such as Rubies in the Rubble, Waste Not and that use imperfect produce in products such as jams, chutneys and hummus.
- Don’t shop hungry
This old chestnut, but there’s proof in the pudding! If you shop on an empty stomach you will fill that supermarket trolley super fast even if you only went in for a pasta sauce. Keep track of what you’ve bought and used. WRAP suggests taking a ‘shelfie’ – a photo of your fridge and cupboards to remind you of what’s there. Or use a handy app like HNGRY which allows you to create shareable shopping lists and keep track of what you have stored at home, it even gives you handy shopping suggestions based on previous purchases.
And don’t forget to check the use-by dates of fresh food when you buy it. Only buy what you can use before it expires or cram it in the freezer.