EP 17 – Eat This: Reduce Your Food Waste

Shopping… meal planning… watching your weekly spend go up, maybe. Or is it going down because you’re ordering online and can’t just pick up that little extra thing that you think you’ll fancy for your midnight snack? 

Thinking about stretching our food budget further than we have before, let’s look a bit deeper at food waste. Yep, what’s lurking at the bottom or back of the fridge that you can’t rescue or add to some stew becomes food waste and that’s not good for your bottom line or the planet. 

On this week’s EAT THIS with Lianne, let’s talk about wasted food and how you can reduce waste and save money.

If you’ve found yourself bulk buying, are you able to get through all the food before it becomes food waste and ends up in the compost or garbage? I found myself panic buying when I was out at Costco and of course bought way too much. Getting smarter at shopping, I think is going to help not only our overwhelmed brain but our stretched wallet. 

In today’s episode I’m going to speak with Corby-Sue Neumann, she’s a mom, a menu planner and the Head Chef at HelloFresh. She’s doing what she can to stay afloat just like the rest of us.  

A stat that blew my mind and might yours too is that Canadian households are wasting over 5 billion pounds of food every year.

HelloFresh conducted a survey, gathering insights from over 1,000 Canadians, to better understand food waste in our country. The survey revealed:

  • 62% of Canadians agree food waste is a serious problem for the planet
  • 97% of Canadians believe it’s important to reduce food waste
  • 58% of Canadians want to reduce edible food waste at home
  • 31% of Canadians confess to throwing out excess ingredients they purchased
  • 35% of Canadians estimate they waste up to $10 worth of food each week; that’s $520 worth of food wasted each year!

How can you reduce your food waste at a time when getting food into your home almost seems like more of a challenge? Here are some tips:

  1. Meal planning is essential right now. Sure you can wing it, but to go out and shop without a plan in place is a recipe for disaster. With shopping every week or even two weeks, having the right ingredients means less stress so that healthier meals can be made. Also having a list to stick to can seriously reduce your spend at the checkout then lead to less waste. Ordering online or from local farmers is an excellent option to help plan your upcoming meals too. 
  2. While we all are likely eating more than we need right now, another way to lessen food waste is to ease up on the servings that you’re piling on a plate. Using small plates can help with that.
  3. Save uneaten food for another meal or freeze it. Right now with my daily live #cooktogether show on Sprout Right’s FB and IG pages, I have a lot of food that needs to be eaten. My freezer really is my saviour, so freeze what you know you may not feel like eating within the next day or two. 
  4. Not sure how to store your fruits and veggies? Head back to episode 15 to hear more and I’ll share a link so you know what to store where. Knowing can be a game-changer… Chris learned about that when we talked about your floppy cucumber! Here’s a link with more about how to store food. 
  5. When you take a look at the best before date, how about you trust your senses instead of the date on the package because it’s called a BEST BEFORE date, not DON’T EAT ME date. 
  6. Keep a waste log to keep an eye on what you’re throwing out, know what’s not the flavour of the month and what no one is eating. Recently, I stopped buying apples because I made Apple Crumble and have a spare in the freezer and my kids didn’t seem to want them, they moved onto berries… If you want to go hardcore, add a $ amount to what you’re throwing out. That’s a wake-up call for the finances. 
  7. Fancy trying your hand at fermenting or preserving? You’ve got the time right now so use what you have in genius ways. If you’ve got too much milk that you haven’t frozen, make yogurt! It’s so simple to do and the taste is way better than store-bought. 

This episode is packed with tips, tricks and ways to not only reduce food waste but how to shop and make SIMPLE foods with a few ingredients. 


HelloFresh shared this with me that I thought might put the food waste situation into context:

“With a record number of Canadians staying in and cooking at home given the COVID-19 pandemic, reducing household food waste is more important than ever. According to Value Chain Management International (VCMI), Canadian households waste over 5 billion pounds of food every year (or the equivalent weight of 20 CN Towers)! Per Statistics Canada, our country has just over 14,072,080 individual households, which means, a single household can generate over 372 pounds of avoidable food waste each year. In other words, a single Canadian household can generate over 7 pounds of avoidable food waste each week!

A recent study by VCMI found that meals cooked from HelloFresh meal kits produce on average 36.4 percent less household food waste than similar meals cooked using ingredients purchased in grocery stores. This due to the pre-portioned ingredients and precise number of servings featured in their meal kit boxes, which are dropped on Canadians’ doorsteps each week.” 

I was thrilled to hear that last month, HelloFresh donated $40 thousand dollars to local community food bank partners across Canada to fight food insecurity amid this Global crisis. HelloFresh CEO and Founder, Ian Brooks says, “Helping to feed Canadians is at the heart of HelloFresh’s mission, which is crucial now more than ever. That’s why we are going beyond our regular food donations and providing financial aid to our food bank partners,” Brooks says.  On its website, Food Banks Canada says, “Providing food to those in need can be difficult at the best of times. With COVID-19, that task just got harder.” Fewer staff and volunteers means less ability to conduct food donation collections, which results in lower stock. 

CLICK HERE for 6 Ways to Reduce Your Food Waste from HelloFresh.

Get more recipes in my book Sprout Right Family Food.

More recipes are available in my book Sprout Right Family Food—plus everything there is to know about getting your family off to a nutritious start, from birth to school age and beyond.

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