Whilst world famine is a huge problem, particularly in developing countries, use by and sell by dates in the western world are causing vast amounts of unnecessary food waste. This surely is a problem that needs to be addressed.
Whilst we can’t change the worlds famine problem overnight, we can have a conscience and make a concerted effort to make small changes to avoid the amount of food that each household wastes. Over 8 million UK families struggle to put food on the table at a time when so many of us are chucking it away.
What can we do? Start by writing a shopping list and sticking to it and DON’T get sucked in by the “deals” encouraging you to waste money on food that will be surplus to your household requirements and ultimately end up on landfills. Yes, the supermarkets have a responsibility too but they are more concerned about making you some money and increasing their profits.
The confusing food labels of use/sell by or best before dates are leading us to throw away food that we think is no longer safe to eat. Foods with “use by” dates indicate that you shouldn’t use food after the date shown, however, I often use my common sense and use the sniff test and I am still alive! “Best before” is exactly what it says, food would be at its best before the date indicated. Finally “sell by” is a date generally used by supermarkets for stock taking purposes.
Another way of avoiding waste is to get creative with ingredients and make soups or stews or salads out of left over veg. Food prepping in advance will also cut out a lot of waste. Think about what you buy and if possible but fresh food every couple of days instead of weekly which is when you tend to waste more food.