The average Australian family wastes $3800.00 worth of food per year. In our country 1 in 5 shopping bags of food ends up in landfill! A cost to the economy of about 20 billion per year, and a terrible burden on the environment – think of all the precious water, fertiliser, oil (the machinery and work to plant the crops and distribute the food), for no good reason.

At the same time hunger remains all too common. In Australian around one in 5 households with children report that in the last 12 months they have reached a point of running out of food and not been able to afford more, and half these families say this is happening regularly at least once a month. Globally the situation is heartbreaking with covid-19 adding extra pressure (think of all the funding cuts to world aid, plus troubles with accessing farm labour, and trade restrictions driving up cost of food, and populations who live pay check to pay check with little govt support, who rely on their work to be able to afford food, being told they have to stay inside and can not go to work) to already difficult circumstances.

I am not going to solve the world food system crisis in a blog. But maybe I can give pause for thought. And if you save a few K a year maybe you could direct that to a chariatble organisation that helps families in need of food either here is Aus or overseas.

Just prior to my grocery shop there is often a variety of limp and less then fresh veg at the bottom of my fridge. It would be easy to let all this food go to waste by…(buying something fresh and more appealing, or ordering a pizza, or just not knowing how to use it) but it needs to be used immediately to avoid food waste. So I sort through, cutting up anything still useable (no obvious mould or rot), composting the rest (I try to get to the food before it comes to this, but I am not perfect and tonight there was a few casualties), and combining the usable veg with a few pantry staples. This will feed the fam for another night or two.

Tonight with left veg bits and pieces I decided to make a stew. In this batch I had a leak, a bunch of celery, a couple of beetroot, a little sweet potato, a little pumpkin, 1/4 red cabbage, quite a few carrots, about 1/2 an eggplant, a zucchini, and a small capsicum. Then I throw it in a slow cooker with some garlic, a can of tomatoes, a few spoons of tomato paste, a couple of cans of chickpeas, some water (couple of cans full) and 2 dessert spoons of dried dahl spice blend. And I served it with a slice of rye bread.

It was really simple, delicious, budget friendly, family meal.

How does your family reduce food waste?