NSW households are one of the biggest contributor of food waste throwing away more than $10 billion worth of food each year.
NSW households are one of the biggest contributor of food waste throwing away more than $10 billion worth of food each year.

Expensive mistake Aussies are making

FOOD waste is a massive detriment to the environment, but also to your wallet.

In Australia alone, 5 million tonnes of food ends up in landfill across the country every year, costing the economy about $20 billion - and New South Wales households are one of the biggest contributors.

They are throwing away $73 per week or $3805 of food each year, but it's an expensive mistake that can easily be fixed.

According to Amanda Kane, organics manger of Love Food Hate Waste, an initiative funded by the NSW Environment Protection Authority, it all comes down to behaviours.

"No one sets out to waste food intentionally, but it happens when we overbuy and overcook," Ms Kane told news.com.au

"For households, it's the small but critical changes to our attitudes and behaviours that really make a difference.

"You may plan a meal and buy the right ingredients but get home late and have no time to cook - that's why you need to think about how you reduce food waste when you're planning what to eat, shopping, storing, cooking and using up leftovers."

But Ms Kane said it can be done, especially when its burdening families financially.

"When you're looking at an estimated $73 a week's worth of waste, it's worth it for our wallets as well as the environment."

So far, 620 households have signed up to the Love Food Hate Waste household program, Food Smart.

While the Your Business is Food program aims to help businesses cut food waste by an average of 21 per cent.

"When food is thrown away and sent to landfill, it decomposes and emits methane - a greenhouse gas that is 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide," Ms Kane said.

"Globally, methane gas caused by food waste accounts for 7 per cent of the world's total greenhouse gas emissions."

NSW households are one of the biggest contributor of food waste throwing away more than $10 billion worth of food each year.
NSW households are one of the biggest contributor of food waste throwing away more than $10 billion worth of food each year.

Simple steps to minimise food waste - Love Food Hate Waste

PLAN YOUR MEALS

A little bit of planning goes a long way, so have a think about what you'd like to eat during the week and what ingredients you'll need to make the meals happen. Be sure to take a look through your kitchen to see what food you already have - you might just find some great leftovers to work with and probably won't need to spend as much money or time heading to the store for ingredients.

SHOP WITH A LIST

We've all been there before - heading to the store with the intention of buying a few things and then leaving with a trolley full of food. Try resist those impulse buys if you can. Think about what you will do with it when you pick something up. Take some time to write a list of all the ingredients you'll need to make your meals.

MAKE THE PERFECT PORTION

Overcooking is one of the biggest causes of food waste at home. To ensure you prepare the right amount of food every time, have a look at the recipe you're following and check the recommended number of servings. If you're a family of two and the recipe serves four, halve the amount needed for each ingredient.

Recommended portion sizes per person:

Potatoes, rice, pasta and legumes: Size of your clenched fist.

Fruits, nuts and seeds: Size of one cupped hand.

Vegetables and greens: Size of two cupped hands.

Meats and eggs: Size and thickness of your palm.

Cheese, spreads and dressings: Size of your thumb.


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