How can YOU help cut down on food waste?

Josephine Whitaker

Blog post by Josephine Whitaker

Global Campaigner
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Did you see the headlines yesterday saying that almost half the world’s food is thrown away? According to a new report from the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, between 1.2 and 2 billion tonnes of food produced around the world is never eaten. Instead, it’s thrown away by food producers, supermarkets and consumers.

Shocking, isn’t it? When you consider that, at the same time, 1 in 8 of us go to bed hungry every night, that figure becomes even more shocking.

So what can we do about it?

Well, there’s clearly a big role for supermarkets and food companies to play, and there are lots things our governments should be doing better.

In developed countries like the UK, food is generally wasted at the ‘retail level’ – by supermarkets and consumers. But in developing countries, food waste tends to happen in the field, rather than the fridge. This is because small-scale farmers don’t have access to places to store their crops, or roads to transport them to market.

Oxfam and our allies are working with different players in the food system around the world to support small-scale farmers to reduce waste in the field and increase their incomes.

But we can each make a difference too. As well as demanding that governments and companies take steps to cut down food waste, we can also show them that we mean business by doing the same. By loving our leftovers and trying to cut down on food waste at home, we can help to reduce the amount of food wasted.

The GROW Method is a simple set of ideas for things we can each do in our everyday lives to help build a better food system. Cutting down food waste at home is key to this.  

Need some ideas for how you can cut down on the food your throw away? It’s simple. All you need is a little forward-planning and some creativity. It’ll probably save you money, and it might even be fun!

  • Plan your meals. Yes, it sounds boring, but by having a rough idea of what you’re going to eat each week and when, you know how much food you need to buy. Knowing what you’re going to eat each night can also help take the stress out of cooking. There’s tons of advice out there on how to plan your meals – check out our Grow Method meal planner shopping list template for starters.
  • Love your leftovers. Show your leftovers a bit of love instead of chucking them in the bin. If you need a bit of inspiration on what to do with your leftovers, take a look at our creative and delicious leftovers recipes on Pinterest!
  • Help inspire others. Do you have a favourite dish you make to use up leftovers? Then add them to our collaborative board to help inspire others. Become a pinner now!

But what do you think? Do you have other ideas for how we can try to waste less food?

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