Top 5 Tips For Reducing Food Waste This Christmas

 In Inspiration

With an estimated 200,000 tonnes of leftover food set to be thrown away this Christmas in Britain, I’ve asked Sandra from Waste2Taste, based at Ark T in east Oxford, to share her top tips for reducing food waste this festive season.

Waste2Taste is a cafe and catering service with a vision towards a vibrant, healthy and sustainable food culture, committed to packaging and food waste cuts. Fighting climate change by reducing food waste and using high quality food surplus is at the heart of the social enterprise, showing the world that magic can be made with surplus food, creating fantastic healthy and super tasty dishes!

Here are Sandra’s top tips >>

If you want to make a difference to your household food waste this Christmas, here are some of my top tips:

Plan Ahead

Know what you are having for Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas Day lunch. Plan your meals and write a list of everything you would like to eat and have at your table. It should help you stick to buying the essentials and reduce food waste too. Resist the urge to impulse buy and never go shopping on an empty stomach ?

If you have guests, know exactly what they are planning to bring and work around it.

Use Your Leftovers

There’s plenty of great meal ideas to use your leftover cheese, turkey, sprouts or even wine.

Use your freezer, seal food in freezer bags, label and save for later. Store fruit and veg properly and away from heating sources. Remember you can freeze your Christmas pudding or Mince pies for a later treat.

Recipe Inspiration Ideas

Leftover turkey: Makes an amazing risotto or curry, a creamy pasta dish, or add to a tomato ragu for lasagne.

Leftover Brussels sprouts: Toss in harissa, bake in the oven for 10 mins and add grilled halloumi, the most delicious dish. ?

Leftover veg: Make a nut roast with veg like butternut squash and mushrooms alongside any leftover cranberries and top with pomegranate seeds and pistachios.

Waste2Taste food waste blog
Waste2Taste food waste blog

Portion Sizes

  • A 2/2.5 kg turkey will feed 6 people
  • 250 g of sprouts for 4 people
  • Vegetables – carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, parsnips – a fist size per person is more than enough
  • Cheese – 2 fingers per person
  • Cake – a slice per person

Give It Away

For any unused food, please give it away to a friend or a neighbour in need. If you see friends and family, send them off with a goodie bag so they can enjoy on Boxing Day. You can also turn your uncooked cauliflower into a delicious pickle or your cabbage into kimchi.

Alternatively, uncooked food can be donated to organisations supporting vulnerable people in Oxford including:

Oxford Mutual Aid, Oxford Community Action, and Oxford Food Hub.

Waste2Taste has made 100s of meals every week during the pandemic for vulnerable local people in OX4 as part of the OX4 Food Crew, tackling food insecurity in east Oxford.

Waste2Taste’s incredible vision is to address food waste, food poverty and homelessness.  The café at Ark T (behind Templars Shopping Centre Car Park) uses food surplus as its main ingredient, with food provided from The Oxford Food Hub, Bucksum Farm & Happy Cakes. Alongside creating a community space at the café, Sandra & Marie provide mentoring and training opportunities to the homeless and vulnerably housed, as a pathway into work, and run “Cooking for Health and Wellbeing Workshops” for homeless, vulnerably housed and families experiencing poverty. This work provides skills in cooking, budgeting, nutrition and seasonality with the choice to do Level 2 Food & Hygiene training as well.

Waste2Taste are a truly inspiring Oxford indie with a social and environmental impact baked into it’s core. Check out the cafe in the new year, or ask about catering to support their vital work in the community.

Waste2Taste Oxford
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