Hate wasting food? It all starts in your fridge

Forgotten fridge food is the target of this year’s Think.Eat.Save campaign run by OzHarvest, Australia’s leading food rescue organisation, in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme.

Events held across the country on Monday brought attention to the alarming amount of food wasted globally, with OzHarvest calling for consumers to take action in the fight against food waste — starting with their fridge.

In Australia, over 4 million tonnes of food goes to waste each year, costing the economy an estimated $20 billion, nearly half of which is generated by households. A recent study by Love Food Hate Waste revealed food left for too long in the fridge is the main reason for food waste at home.

And the biggest 5 wasted ingredients are things we all have lying around:

  1. Bread
  2. Bananas
  3. Bagged lettuce/salad
  4. Meat
  5. Milk

OzHarvest CEO and Founder, Ronni Kahn said the power lies with people to dramatically cut the 1.3 billion tonnes of food wasted globally each year and it starts at home.

“Wasting food makes no sense – economically, environmentally and ethically — consumers must act now,” Kahn said. “The average household fridge has a lot to answer for. People shop for the week, stack the fridge and food gets forgotten – stuck in the dark corners of the vegetable crisper or hidden behind jars of jam. It’s the main reason why people waste food at home.”

The national campaign supported by Woolworths and BP, hopes to inspire change by using these simple steps:

  • THINK what’s in your fridge and plan meals,
  • EAT what you have and freeze what you don’t need,
  • SAVE precious food, time and money.

Dechen Tsering, UN Environment Representative and Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific said the campaign is a reminder to everyone to be part of the solution. “We now know that if we stop wasting so much food, we can save precious cropland, valuable water resources and make progress in mitigating climate change… we can all make a difference through our everyday actions to save food at home,” she said.

If you’re looking for ideas on how to use your leftovers, check out the OzHarvest website for a whole range of food saving tips and “wasty” recipes to delight your tastebuds.