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Food Waste Audit Diary May 2019

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Food Waste Audit Diary May 2019

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Old Style MoneySaving
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tighteningthebelttighteningthebelt Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Old Style MoneySaving
Hi everyone!
I'm doing a tight audit of food waste for May 2019. I don't waste much, but there's always room for improvement with all these skills. I welcome any advice, or anybody who wants to do it along with me.

A little background...
I've been doing quite a bit of reading about this. It's obviously difficult for anyone to be exact with figures. The current estimate for food waste in the UK is 7 million tons. This is household food waste, not farm or supermarket waste. In a way such big figures are meaningless for us, too large to imagine. So I went looking for the per household sum... 7 million tons divided by 27 million household is 250kg per household per year. That's 4.8kg of food waste per household per week, or 0.68kg per day. in 'old money' that's 1lb 8oz. These figures seemed irrational to me, so i checked them with an academic at Loughborough Uni who has been in the news regarding food waste recently, and he assures me they are correct. He has challenged me to do a fun food audit. I can't resist a challenge!!

There are some caveats in the calculations. The figures include food composted by individuals. It includes leftover food given to pets. It includes drinks, or other food disposed of down the sink.

There are three categories of waste food; avoidable, unavoidable, and possibly avoidable.
Broadly speaking
'Avoidable' is food that could have been eaten at some point, but that has spoiled due to being left too long, examples might be mouldy bread or liquefied cucumber.
'Unavoidable' is things like banana or pineapple skins, eggshells, used teabags, that were never edible.
'Possibly avoidable' is things like peelings, which some people might eat and other not.

(I did briefly consider whether 'unavoidable' can even be classed as 'waste', the word waste implies carelessness and even extravagance to my mind, but I don't want to get too hung up on that, the figures have to be comparable or else it isn't a challenge at all!!)

So, this is how i will do my food waste diary... I'm going to discount 'possibly avoidable' as I eat edible things! I'm going to sort my food waste through the day into 'avoidable' and 'unavoidable'. After tea each night I'm going to weigh them, and post on here with any notes. I'm also going to make a note of how many people have eaten, as that's quite variable here, but on average there is a 'household'. I don't eat out, so there won't be any waste hidden from the figures.

There you go! I'll do my level best. Do join in or respond with your ideas, suggestions and experiences. (oh and its the first time I've started a thread, so forgive me if I've done anything that needs forgiveness) :)
A bit of grin and bear it, a bit of come and share it
You're welcome we can spare it, yellow socks
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Replies

  • tighteningthebelttighteningthebelt Forumite
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    Oh dear, I've just realised I'm starting with a pineapple on the 1st of May!!! That's poor planning!!!
    A bit of grin and bear it, a bit of come and share it
    You're welcome we can spare it, yellow socks
  • PasturesNewPasturesNew Forumite
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    I have almost zero waste. If I buy it I have to eat it; I have to eat it all. I do spend most of my time eating things that I don't really want, or that don't go together that well. I also repeat eat loads and loads and loads and loads and loads of things... but there's zero waste.

    Also, due to freezer size, freezing isn't a sustainable solution as they do fill up very quickly and then take months to empty if you see it as a solution - so I do try to eat as much as I can without resorting to freezing.

    Yesterday, say, I had a loaf that was just two crusts and one slice remaining - it'd been on the worktop a couple of days and was just 3 days out of date. It hadn't gone green... I had beans on toast with the crusts and I had the slice of bread with chocolate spread.

    My only waste tends to be a few veg peelings, it's rare there's anything else that could count as waste. Today so far: Tops and tails of two small onions and dry onion skin. Also, the stalk join, inner white membrane and pips of one green pepper.
  • GreenQueenGreenQueen Forumite
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    This is a really good idea. Just the action of counting the waste makes you think about it.

    I will join you, if that's OK. I've got a pineapple as well - Aldi super six!
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  • Suffolk_lassSuffolk_lass Forumite
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    Well done for starting the thread, tightningthebelt It is a really good idea to track this. Even the people who think they waste nothing - I am already struck by the inclusion of vegetable peelings, tea-bags and onion skins.

    Do you want some suggested use-up methods (basic fridge-bottom stir-fry and soup for example) or recipes?

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  • AnimalTribeAnimalTribe Forumite
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    What a good idea for a thread. I'm trying to reduce the amount of food I waste too, so I'm looking forward to reading peoples ideas.

    I always end up with bread crusts left too. They always end up as either some form of toasted sandwich or toasted for beans. Sometimes I use them as a kind of pizza base - top them with tomato and garlic paste, cheese and any other topping that I have to hand. Either toast one side and then the topping goes on the other and they are grilled or the topping is just put on the crust and cooked in the oven. It depends which member of the family is making them.
  • PasturesNewPasturesNew Forumite
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    .... vegetable peelings.... onion skins.

    .... stir-fry and soup ....
    I already eat enough boring/repetitive/"cr4p" food, just to have zero waste.

    My veggie peelings are "the grotty/gone bad/black bits" in the main.

    I never do stir-fry and am not a fan of soup :)

    Just out of interest though, what disgusting and gross items can one be force fed that are made from onion skins?
  • Suffolk_lassSuffolk_lass Forumite
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    I already eat enough boring/repetitive/"cr4p" food, just to have zero waste.

    My veggie peelings are "the grotty/gone bad/black bits" in the main.

    I never do stir-fry and am not a fan of soup :)

    Just out of interest though, what disgusting and gross items can one be force fed that are made from onion skins?

    You say the nicest things... :)

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  • Blackbeard_of_PerranporthBlackbeard_of_Perranporth Forumite
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    One way to reduce waste is only buy what you are going to cook! And it saves money. Our food waste bin is only peel and skins, nothing else. On Saturday we has stir fry fridge bitsers, all the left overs from the week into the pan and served up.
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  • Suffolk_lassSuffolk_lass Forumite
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    I had actually posted a comment just like yours on the grocery challenge thread before TTB started this thread, claiming to waste nothing - it was her reference to what counts as waste I was talking about - egg shells too. I do compost all my veg waste so they have another life (but still apparently count as waste). I wasn't actually proposing to make anything from onion skins (disgusting or otherwise) just remarking on the limited waste. I do actually make vegetable stock from peelings, and make sauces from some and add to casseroles and stews with the rest. I tend to roast onions in their skins

    Save £12k in 2020 - #20 £2161.30/£5k 28.72% after Apr
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  • s_glovers_glover Forumite
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    Great idea for a thread. I will be following with interest.

    I like to think we wast very little and on the whole I think we acheiviet this well. We meal plan and only buy what we know will eat.

    Peelings, tea bags etc are composted, along with the occassional piece of fruit which goes bad within a day or two of buying it.
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