How to reduce food waste at Christmas

We’re all guilty of overspending at Christmas and being left with a mountain of food we didn’t get through. 

Made worse this year as Christmas celebrations will be on a much smaller scale than usual, and you may be left with more food than needed.

Research from Business Waste estimates that 150,000 tonnes of festive food usually ends up in landfill, which is 30 per cent more than at any other time of year. However, there are certain steps you can take to prevent food wastage this year.

Here, Gousto’s Senior Recipe Developer, Jordan Moore, explains numerous ways you can reduce your food waste this Christmas.

Look at the ‘use by’ date

Mr Moore explains, “Especially when buying meat, dairy, or other fresh produce, check out that use-by date to make sure you won’t have to throw it away before you need it. And remember that most fruit and veg will last longer if you store it properly.”

Different fruit and vegetables need to be stored in different ways. You can find out how on the Gousto website.

He suggests creating an ‘eat me first’ shelf in your fridge and dedicating fresh food that will go out of date first to this shelf.

The recipe developer also suggests taking a photo of what’s inside your fridge and cupboard before you head to the supermarket, so that you can refer to this when you’re shopping.

Make friends with your freezer

A variety of Christmas food can be stored in the freezer in order to prevent food wastage.

“If you find yourself with leftovers or excess food, there are a surprising amount of classic Christmas dishes that you can seal and freeze for later. Bread sauce, turkey, Stilton, roast potatoes, mince pies, vegetables… even wine! Just make sure you label the packets with the date you made it, so you know how long it’s been in the freezer,” says Mr Moore.

Everything from eggs, fresh herbs and chillies can be frozen, so it’s worth seeing if any of your Christmas dishes can be popped in the freezer.

Preserve your Christmas food

“Ferment, preserve and pickle your fruit and veg – quick pickles are especially popular at the moment – all you need is a mason jar and this recipe for quick pickled cucumbers to make a beautiful handmade gift for the foodie in your life,” says Mr Moore.

Donate to your local food bank

If you’ve bought too much before Christmas, or realise you have a lot left after Christmas, you could donate to your local food bank.

It’s worth checking beforehand if there’s anything they particularly need, or don’t need, before you make a drop off.

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