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'Tis the season for food waste: Here’s how to minimise waste this festive season

Make your own frozen fruit treats. Picture: Supplied

Make your own frozen fruit treats. Picture: Supplied

Published Dec 15, 2021


The holidays are all about spending time with your favourite people, sharing laughs, and, of course, enjoying all the food, from gourmet snacks and prosecco to that succulent, show-stopper of a turkey.

During this time of the year food waste is one of the biggest negative side effects of holiday consumption. The good news is that most food waste can be avoided with just a few simple actions.

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Below we have tips from BiobiN South Africa and chef, nutritionist, and founder of Eating Made Easy, Amelia Winslow on ways to reduce food waste this holiday season.

BiobiN South Africa tips

Responsible consumption

Now is the time to cook efficiently, limiting food scraps and wastage. Weekly meal planning coordinated shopping can lead to a reduced food waste household output. Time to implement your plan.

Start composting

Food scraps do not need to enter the main municipal waste stream, especially during this time. Get a contained compost unit installed at your home. Keep it well managed by regularly turning it and adding garden cuttings. Finally, use your compost and your extra time at home to get your garden going.

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Amelia Winslow’s tips

Buy foods in bulk instead of in packaging

This greatly reduces the amount of plastic waste that goes into our landfills and protects your family from the toxins that can leach from the plastic into your food. A while ago I bought these cloth bags to use for fresh produce and bulk items like oats, nuts, seeds, grains, dried fruit, and the occasional chocolate or candy treat. I never have to use plastic bags anymore.

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Buy cereal and dry goods in bags instead of boxes

When you don’t have access to bulk items or want some more conventional cold packaged goods, look for foods that come in bags instead of boxes. These tend to include a lot less packaging and thus save waste and energy.

Make your frozen fruit

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It is easy to buy fresh produce at the farmer’s market or grocery store (using your cloth bags) and freeze it yourself for smoothies and future cooking projects.