Top ten food waste tips

Use these tips from food waste chef, Rachel Potter,  to help get the most out of your groceries and reduce food waste!  

1. Buy in season

If you buy in season your vegetables will have travelled less distance to get to you as it would have been grown by local farmers. Food also tastes better when eaten in the right season, is usually cheaper and in abundance. And anything you don’t use, freeze or preserve the rest.

2. Buy ‘ugly and imperfect’ veg

Choose ‘ugly’ and ‘imperfect veg’ at supermarkets and markets. Some items might not look perfect on the outside but are perfect on the inside. Every time you buy ugly and imperfect veg you help take more of the farmer’s crops, reduce food wastage, and most importantly saving up to 50%.

3. Buy only what you need and store vegetables correctly when you get home!

Before you go shopping, look at what you have in the fridge, freezer and pantry (e.g. canned vegetables and legumes). Plan meals for the week ahead and decide what you need. Don’t be tempted to buy produce specials unless you know you have the time to use it. Store other fresh produce in airtight containers in the fridge.

4. Be creative with your veg scraps

Vegetable scraps can be stored in a container in the freezer and when full, used as the base for your own vegetable stock. Roast your veggie scraps and use as is or turn into a roast veggie soup. Flavour with herbs and spices or leftover dehydrated peelings.

5. Have a ‘take-away’ jar or container at hand

Have a carry bag or box in your car that is set-aside specifically for your own ‘take-away’ containers. That way, you will never leave leftovers behind when you are out and about. A 500ml glass jar is a convenient size to carry in your personal bag.

6. Windowsill garden

Regrow food on your windowsill! Instead of throwing out your shallot roots, carrot tops, fennel or lettuce roots, place them in a shallow bowl of water and place on a sunny ledge in your kitchen. New shoots will start appearing before your eyes and you’ll be so delighted when you have more vegetables to cook with.

7. Be a soup hero

Pretty much any vegetable nearing its end can be turned into a soup. Be creative – make a chilled beetroot, cucumber and herb soup when you find them soft at the bottom of your crisper. Or roasted capsicum soup topped with cheesy breadcrumbs from your freezer stores.

8. Order less

40% of commercial kitchen food waste happens in the kitchen (prep waste). Of this, 2% is due to spoilage and 58% is plate waste from the customer. Next time you dine out, avoid ordering more than you think you can eat, and enjoy every mouthful!

9. Cook with less

Use fewer ingredients when cooking and allow vegetables and seasonal ingredients to sing. Eat at home more often with family and friends, sharing a meal that you have created.

10. Share away!

Don’t forget to share your vegetable saving ideas and creations with friends and family and inspire others to help reduce food waste!


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Our All Systems Go module explores the human body helping children to understand healthy fuel and why food and nutrition is so important in our lives.

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