Given the investment that goes into creating our food dishes, it is far too valuable a resource to simply discard. “Reduce, reuse, and recycle” is a phrase we’ve all heard, but where do we begin when it comes to reducing overall consumption, finding efficient ways to reuse items, and recycling our trash?
In terms of food, we frequently use event leftovers for delicious in-house office lunches. We donate large amounts of leftover food and items to local charities or organisations.
We thought it would be helpful to provide our readers with some pointers on how to reduce kitchen waste at home.
What are the important guidelines for managing food and kitchen waste?
Compost your food waste
Composting kitchen foods that can be disposed of organically at home is an excellent way to reduce the amount of food you waste. Composting your own food at home has the added benefit of fertilising the soil in your garden.
Do you already compost?
To keep the pH levels in your compost heap balanced, liberally sprinkle coffee grounds on a regular basis. The coffee will help the food degrade faster and will mask any odours that may escape from the compost container.
Repurpose your leftovers
Use vegetable and meat scraps to make homemade stocks, and citrus rinds and zest to flavour other dishes. You can also compost your meat leftovers.
For details about composting meat, check our step by step guide on how to safely compost meat here.
Simple smoothies and soups
Don’t toss out fruits and vegetables because they’re past their prime. Fruits can be made into delicious smoothies, and vegetables can be used to make a delicious soup.
Pot and pan to the freezer
If you know the food in your fridge is nearing the end of its shelf life, cook it and then freeze it.
They can be defrosted and reheated for a quick and easy meal. To get rid of fridge odours, stuff a cheesecloth bag with dry coffee grounds and place it in the fridge.
Keep your outdoor dumpster in good condition. Fill some old tights with dry grounds and hang them in the bin for a quick air freshener.
Remove cooking odours from your hands
There is little that can remove the strong odour of chopped onions or garlic. Take some coffee grounds, add a little water, and rub the mixture between your hands. Rinse with cool water to restore your natural scent.
Do you grow vegetables in your garden?
Sprinkle a generous amount of dry coffee grounds around your plants to keep those pesky pests at bay.
Coffee also has the added benefit of providing the ideal amount of acidity to help your vegetables grow.
Before leaving for the store, do well to look through the refrigerator:
Use the food you already have before purchasing more. One meal per week should be designated as a use-it-up meal.
Move older food items to the front of the fridge, cupboard, or freezer, and newer items to the back. This increases the likelihood that foods will be consumed before they go bad.
What is food safety?
Food safety is a broad term that means keeping food, cooked or raw, in a condition that allows it to be consumed.
This applies in a commercial kitchen to how your staff handles food (as raw ingredients, when serving or storing), where and how they store it, and how food is handled during the preparation process.
Food contamination can occur at any point during the food handling and preparation process.
The consequences of this can be extremely harmful to your customers’ health, and you must do everything possible to avoid it.
Wash Your Hands Frequently
Maintaining food handling standards will help you reduce the likelihood of contamination. The NHS recommends that you wash your hands first.
The best way to avoid contamination is to wash your hands with warm water and soap before and after each stage.
When handling food, particularly after touching raw food, the bin, pets, do the following.
Use Different Chopping Boards
Because you will most likely be handling raw meats in your commercial kitchen, the potential for germ transmission is high. Cross contamination between raw and cooked foods, as well as between ingredients, must be avoided.
The food industry is based on producing great food that is not only safe to eat but also enjoyable.
Using safe ingredients and storing them properly, as well as keeping foods free of waste or expired items, all help to ensure that great food is never contaminated or degraded.
- A Methodology for Sustainable Management of Food Waste
- Sustainability Assessment of Food Waste Prevention Measures: Review of Existing Evaluation Practices,retrieved from here
- Food waste matters – A systematic review of household food waste practices and their policy implications