Isn’t it ironic that there are nearly 850 million people around the globe who are suffering from chronic hunger, yet in Australia alone we manage to throw out $10 billion dollars’ worth of uneaten food each year. Ten. Billion. Dollars.
According to a new study by Galaxy Research, this equates to nearly one sixth of our weekly grocery shop and comes to an annual total of over $1000 per household. While experts say that 92 per cent of Aussies are throwing out perfectly good, cooked food each week, surprisingly 71 per cent of people do want to reduce their wastage.
“Food waste is such a big issue in this country and we can each do our bit to help,” said Australian chef and pioneer in sustainable cooking, Matt Stone.
“It’s a lot easier than most people think, particularly with initiatives like Re-pie-cling, which tap into existing behaviours that people are already familiar with.”
Re-pie-cling, a sustainable cooking movement recently launched by Stone himself, aims to inspire Australians to get creative in the kitchen by using their leftovers for the filling of a pie. “It’s just a matter of popping yesterday’s leftovers into some Pampas Pastry and then popping that into the oven – all the while being mindful of the importance of food safety when using leftovers of course!” the chef explained.
“What you end up with is a reinvented meal and renewed excitement for the food. What’s more, almost any dish can be Re-pie-cled from savoury meals like spaghetti bolognese right through to desserts like left over fruit salad and custard.”
Sounds delicious – and easy, doesn’t it? Galaxy Research found that the most appealing fillings to Re-pie-cle with were roast chicken, roast beef and lamb stew, however Stone insists that’s it’s not just leftovers that can, or should, be used.
“Re-pie-cling doesn’t just have to be restricted to leftovers as 85 per cent of Aussies are also throwing out fruit or vegetables that are no longer looking their finest. This opens up opportunities for both sweet and savoury recipes and make good use of fresh produce that otherwise would have ended up in the bin.”
Aside from the financial cost, food wastage is also having a huge environmental impact. According to experts, when food is thrown away it’s turned into to landfill, which then contributes to the emission of methane – a greenhouse gas that is 25 times more potent than the carbon pollution that comes out of your car.
In addition, the resources that it takes to produce the food – as in get it from the farm to your plate – is wasted. This all results in excess amounts of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, according to a NSW government website, which contributes to global warming and climate change.
So ladies, if there is anything that you can take away from this article: think before you throw. Not only will you be helping the environment, but you’ll also be saving on household expenses.