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Easy Tips to Reduce Food Waste in Singapore

by Voices Wellness 02 Nov 2021

Keep food waste at bay with these fuss-free and easy tips.

For a city-state so passionate about good food, the idea of food wastage rarely comes up in conversations. After all, over-ordering at our favourite restaurants, throwing away unused vegetables, and hoarding expired foods in our fridges, have become common habits we’re all guilty of. What most might not know is that food waste is one of the largest waste streams in the Lion City—more shocking yet is that the amount generated has grown by about 20 percent over the past decade.

While there’s often talk about sustainability in terms of plastic reduction and the use of recycled packaging, food waste warrants a place in the spotlight too. With local F&B establishments putting in the effort with no-waste policies, there’s no reason why we as individuals aren’t reducing food waste in our daily lives.

Here are some tips to try:

Buy only what you need

Even though buying groceries in bulk offers convenience and saves money, this applies mostly to non-perishables. Research has shown that this method results in more food wastage as most of us overestimate how much food we can finish before they expire. To prevent this, start making lists so that there’s a lesser chance for impulse buys and plan for frequent trips to the grocery store instead of buying in bulk at a go. When in doubt, use up all the food purchased on your last shopping trip before buying more.

Give ugly fruits and vegetables a chance

Unless you’re about to host an important dinner for VIPs, you could easily settle for less-than-perfect fresh produce. Although slightly dented fruits and vegetables aren’t the most aesthetically appealing, they’re no less wonderful when it comes to their nutritional value. When at supermarkets, make a beeline for imperfect fruits that are often sold at a discounted price. Certain NTUC FairPrice outlets also offer community fridges, which are filled with unsold but edible foods for the benefit of the less fortunate. To encourage sustainability, homegrown grocer Ugly Food purveys a wide range of “ugly” fruit and vegetable bundles at affordable prices.

Store food properly

Food spoilage is one of the main causes of food waste and that’s mainly due to food products and products being stored in less-than-ideal conditions. Vegetables like onions, tomatoes, potatoes, garlic, and cucumbers should be kept at room temperature instead of in the refrigerator. Another useful tip is to separate food that produces more ethylene gas from those that don’t, as the gas speeds up the ripening process. Leftovers from meals should be kept in clean, food-grade, and air-tight containers. If you’re not planning to eat the leftovers in the next day or two, keep it in the freezer instead of the fridge within two hours of being cooked to prevent bacteria growth.

Put your food waste and leftover food to use

If food wastage can’t be helped, try other environmentally friendly methods to recycle them. Food scrap from your kitchen including greens, leftover foods, as well as recyclable packaging material can all be placed in a compost bin. Once the mixture has decomposed and attains a dark and crumbly texture, it can be used as a natural fertiliser for your flower beds and garden vegetables. If you’ve got a couple of odd ingredients left in your fridge and pantry, try searching them up on Supercook, a useful recipe search engine that lets one search according to ingredients that they have at home.

 

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