In Singapore, food waste accounts for 10% of total waste. What’s even more worrying is that statistics from the National Environment Agency reveal that the amount of food waste has been increasing every year. According to NEA, over the past 10 years, the amount of food waste in Singapore has increased 40%.
With a growing resident population and increased economic activity, food waste in Singapore is expected to further increase as well.
How can you play your part in reducing food waste in your household? Here are 6 easy ways you can implement right now.
1. Check your fridge and pantry before grocery shopping
One way to reduce food waste is to be aware of the food supplies that you already have in your fridge and pantry. Often, we don’t plan on wasting food; it’s just that we leave food unused too long and food spoilage occurs.
Minimize this by taking inventory of your fridge and pantry at least once a week. Take note of perishable items, any upcoming expiry dates on foods and plan your meals so that these items are used.
Doing a stock-take before going grocery shopping will mean not buying duplicates and buying items that can go with the foods you already have.
2. Make a weekly meal plan
Planning ahead can help you make better use of your food supplies. You can design a weekly meal plan that meets your health and lifestyle needs, while also using your food supplies in an optimal way.
Also take into consideration your family’s schedule. Figure out who will be home for meals on which days, and plan your groceries accordingly. For instance, you may decide to plan 2 family dinners every week wherein you eat out. This means buying less perishable food items. Or perhaps there is a family event and you’ll head to mum’s place for lunch.
3. Only buy what you need
The supermarket can be very tempting, especially if you’re shopping on a hungry stomach after work! Fight the temptation to put everything that looks delicious into your shopping cart; instead, have a handy shopping list that outlines all the food items you need for that week.
Deals and discounts in the supermarket are difficult to resist but don’t buy food just because it’s on sale. If it sits unused in your fridge, it becomes spoiled and you have to throw it out. In the end, you’re not just wasting food but also money.
Instead, buy only what you need and what you will use. A shopping list can help you on track, lessen wastage and save you some dollars.
4. Check serving sizes on food labels
Rather than throw away unused portions of food, be smarter and prepare meals according to serving sizes. Learn how to read confusing food labels and check the serving size per package on food items.
At Ayam Brand™, we’ve designed our products to come in different sizes so that you can find the serving size that suits your needs. For instance, if you’re only cooking for yourself, choose the 155g can of Ayam Brand™ Sardines in Tomato Sauce which serves 1 to 2 persons. For large families, go for the 425g can which is for 5 to 6 persons.
This simple trick can save you money and reduce food wastage in your home.
5. Store your food correctly
Once you’ve brought your groceries home, it’s important to store them correctly so keep them at optimal freshness. Put everything perishable into the fridge or freezer, and non-perishable items should be stored in a cool, dry place.
You may also want to use the “First In, First Out” policy which means brings older food products to the front of your fridge and pantry, and putting newer ones at the back. This makes it easier to use these older items before they expire.
Canned foods may have a long shelf-life, but be sure to store them properly.
6. Find different recipes so that you can use one food product more than once
If you find yourself with a supply of one food item that is rapidly reaching its expiry date, find different recipes that use that food as core ingredients.
This allows you to prepare the same food in new ways so that you’re not bored by eating it for multiple meals. This is also a great idea for using unused portions of food.
Ayam Brand™ products can be found at all leading supermarkets and hypermarts.