Some call food waste the “dumbest problem in the world”
They're not necessarily wrong!
However, you'd be surprised at how much organisation is now needed to overcome it. At an individual level, we all know how tricky it can be to buy just the right amount to avoid binning some at the end of the week. However it is not impossible, and together we are already on the way towards our goal of making food waste history.
One thing is clear to us, zero food waste is not about adding more to your mental load. Simple habits can help you make the necessary changes - whether you live alone, in pairs, in shared accommodation or with your family.
Our Karma partners in restaurants, grocery stores, and bakeries have made key changes by using the following tips. But they are also useful for you at home!
1. Buy according to your needs
It's part of our partners' business plan to plan for enough food to satisfy as many customers as possible, without having too many unsold items. At home, aim to follow the same type of thinking – and take a little time to plan and buy ingredients according to your needs. You can also do a monthly (or weekly) scan on what ingredients you have at home already and can use up instead of buying more!
Fun fact: One day, a fish shop we know bought too much broccoli. Frankly, they were at a loss as to what to do with it all. Luckily, we worked together to put it all on Karma and they were all bought and used - each and every one! If you have bought too many things, be creative and think outside the box! Below, you will find food hacks to have some more inspiration.
2. Mix it up!
In poke places, there are some boxes that come filled, but others are left for customers to decide what should be included.
That is how we came up with the idea of a "no waste bowl". Instead of following traditional recipes, the box is filled with what is left. The bowl changes every time and offers unusual, but always delicious combinations!
At home, you can be creative too. Instead of sticking to your usual favourites, create new recipes with your leftovers: what about lunchtime rice with cashews from the cupboard, some cucumber slices from the half left in the fridge, and a good dressing.
3. Cook with what you already have
In some of our cafes, they've started selling cappuccinos at half price as a way to ensure all their milk is consumed before expiry. We love that spirit.
It's worth keeping an eye on what is in your fridge or pantry for food that won't be good tomorrow. We bet that there are plenty of delicious recipes online with that item as the star of the show! For example, if you have extra milk, why not make a rice pudding with cinnamon or vanilla.
4. Twist your leftovers
If you carefully study the menus of some restaurants, cafes or bakeries (don't worry we already have, so you don't have to), you will see that they are cooking dishes from the previous day's surplus. Thus the Tuesday fish becomes the Wednesday fish soup! At home, this is also a perfect way to reduce your waste.
Take a leftover dish, and we can almost guarantee you can put it in a frying pan and add one or two eggs for a delicious meal. For a vegan version, tofu is the perfect substitute. Don't forget to spice it up!
The good news is that being part of the Zero Food Waste Generation not only helps to save our planet, but can also boost your creativity in the kitchen.
And don't forget, if you make too much of something, you can always bring it to work and share it with your colleagues. We are sure they will be delighted to share!