As World Food Day is almost upon us, it’s important to reflect on the significance of food and how we should be mindful of how we dispose of leftovers and do our part to reduce food waste.
What Is World Food Day?
World Food Day was first initiated by the United Nations, and is meant to highlight food scarcity in the world. It promotes food awareness, food security and action for those who suffer from hunger.
World Food Day falls on the 16th October. This year’s theme is a statement, and reads as follows:
“Our actions are our future – Better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life.”
Now that we’ve informed you on World Food Day’s significance, here are 7 essential ways that can help you reduce your food waste.
1. Buy Sustainable Foods
When we buy groceries, we often default to buying the best looking produce. We think that the produce’s look might affect the quality of the food.
In truth, our misguided thinking leads to us over importing food and mistaking perfectly good food as ‘spoiled’.
Consider buying produce (e.g. fruits and vegetables) that are often set aside. You might just be surprised that their taste isn’t that much different from a ‘perfect-looking’ one.
Local start-up groups like Ugly Foods aim to reduce food wastage by spreading the message on buying produce sustainably, while also having pick-up points for customers to take control of their buying.
2. Buy Local
While buying ugly foods can solve part of the issue, you can also buy locally grown produce to reduce your carbon footprint, thus reducing food waste from imported foods.
Local produce is also fresher, which means it’ll persuade you to use foods at a timely rate instead of hoarding.
Tip: At supermarkets like Fairprice, you can spot local produce with items marked with a red sticker that says “SG — Choose Fresh, Local Produce”.
Here’s a list of some local farms that you might want to consider picking up on your next grocery run:
- Seng Choon — A local farm that specialises in eggs.
- Comcrop — Singapore’s first rooftop vegetable farm!
- Bean Farm Pte Ltd — One of the few Singaporean farms that grows beansprouts. They also have different varieties, such as Mung Bean and Sakura.
Check out a range of Singapore local produce brands here too.
3. Donate To Charity Drives
If you have extra food in your pantry, chances are they might sit and expire in the same spot if you don’t actively use it. Preventing this is easy — just donate your extra grocery foods to a charity drive in Singapore.
Don’t worry, there’s plenty of food drives across the country for you to donate to. Here’s a mini-list:
- Free Food For All (FFFA) — Donation types range from free meals for the elderly, children package meals, to COVID-19 care packages.
- Food From The Heart — Has a food donation wish list, as well as direct donations.
- The Food Bank Singapore — Provides food bundles and emergency foods for the needy.
- Society For The Aged Sick — Donations go to providing food rations for an elderly nursing home.
Facebook groups to lend a helping hand to:
- Fridge Restock Community SG — they rescue ugly veggies and fruits to restock community fridges around Singapore
- D2L – Divert For 2nd Life — specialise in rescuing unsellable items with a shelf life that would otherwise be discarded
4. Try Out Leftover Recipes
Have you looked in your fridge and realised you might have quite a large amount of leftovers? This can range from potato chunks, cucumber peels or the occasional carrot half.
To prevent this, try and cook some leftover recipes that help use up all your food instead of leaving scraps behind:
- Chop fruits and vegetables for breakfast smoothies
- Shred cooked meat to put in salads
- Use leftover rice to make fried rice or porridge
- Take random cheese slices and extra pasta shells to cook a pasta bake
- Group veggies, pasta to make leftover stew
Also check out on StyleMag: Your Guide To Meal Prep: What To Note & Recipe Ideas
5. Meal Planning
Planning ahead helps to avoid overbuying foods and wasting less. This is where meal planning comes in — not only do you spend less time cooking, you also reduce money spent on food and waste less.
Below are some ways to start meal planning:
- Ideate weekly meals for the family
- Look through your cupboards for ingredients to use to avoid buying duplicates
- Write an itemised grocery list based on the recipes you want to cook
- Store name brands are cheaper than brand names!
- Plan time for you to cook
- Cook on an off day to make it more fulfilling
- Freeze batch meals for later use
Meal Planning vs. Meal Prepping
You might be wondering what the difference is between planning and prepping.
Meal planning is choosing recipes that best fit your schedule.
Meal prepping is blocking off a set amount of time to prepare your meals.
The two go hand in hand, but can also be done exclusively.
6. Store Foods Properly
Normally, when we’re done with a grocery run we just place the newest foods at the front. Unfortunately, this in turn leads us to forget all about the older food in the back and contributes to food wastage.
Storing food properly is more important than you might think. Here are some tips we’ve gathered for a more efficient storage system:
- Move older foods to the front, that way you’ll be motivated to use old ingredients first before old ones
- Allocate spaces for various categories of items so that you know where to store them. Use clear containers or sliding fridge drawers for easy accessibility and visiblity.
Also check out on StyleMag: The Right Way To Store Food In Your Fridge
7. Minimise Takeaway Food
Another way that contributes to food waste is excessive spending on takeaway food. Not only does it negatively impact your wallet, it also impacts how much food you’re actually wasting.
Across Singaporean households, rice, noodles and bread are the most common foods that are thrown out.
When ordering take out, be mindful of:
- Amount of food you order — Is it too much or too little?
- Plastic cutlery — Though they can be recycled, they’re often thrown in the trash. Opt for a reusable cutlery set instead.
The amount of food we waste is just as important as the amount we eat. If we maintain a sustainable food diet, we can do our part to prevent food scarcity and global hunger.
If these tips helped you, let us know down below!