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At iRaw, we want to spread beyond the ‘self’ when it comes to values and resolutions. Do you have some space to add another item to yours? We often fail to execute our plans but thinking of the ‘other’ is that one plan we want to help you see through. This post is about a pretty big ‘other’ in our lives – our planet and the environment. While our planet can take care of itself, we are certainly making the job very difficult. The answer to how we can reduce food waste isn’t dramatic or costly. This blog post might just open your eyes a little bit to how easy it can be!
It’s the New Year and 2018 promises a lot on the horizon. It is a truly amazing moment when you think about it – it’s that one time when almost everyone has a moment of mindfulness and thinks in the present as they set their resolutions. Whether they keep them of not, the majority of those resolutions that are set are for the ‘self’. So it’s quite bleak then to think that only 8% of those who set resolutions actually achieve them. Is this the year you see your goals through? This moment is truly magical but even with the best will, the switch from 2017 to 2018 isn’t enough to cause a change to just happen.
How We Can Reduce Food Waste – The Problem
Food waste is a very real problem. According to the Guardian, the UK is throwing away £13b a year (article). This figure is significant and quite a few players are to blame given the scale of food production. Just think of all those involved from farming to food manufacturing to supermarkets to your plate. Not only that but if you consider the overall footprint, you’ll not there is plenty more pollution involved – pesticide spraying, farming machinery, industrial machinery, processing, packaging, transport. Every element has its own set of byproducts that harm the planet. We can blame the process, but it’s the consumer who has the final say. If we consume and demand it, they will make it.
Your role as a consumer is bigger than you might realise. You may not think it but you have the final say in what products are sold in supermarkets. Because after all, the whole point is to get the sales! This is why the health industry is growing so rapidly, this is why vegan products are on the rise, this is why we are starting to see more and more waste conscious brands and even restaurants popping up. In fact the free from market is expected to grow to £673m by 2020! (Article)
It’s amazing but there is still so much to do.
Putting it in the Bin isn’t enough. According to the Independent, ‘’as many as 8.4 million families in the UK struggle to put food on the table – and yet, 7.3 million tonnes of food waste ends up in landfills each year.” (source). But food waste doesn’t just disappear, it sits in a big hole until no more can fit and a new hole is dug…and so on. Much of what we throw out can’t be recycled!
Every single person in the UK (and the world) can help to reduce food waste.
A Tsunami starts out as nothing more than a ripple in the ocean. iRaw is committed to starting this wave off in 2018 and hopefully building it higher and higher with each week. Will you help us get momentum.
So what can you do now? How we can reduce food waste is easier than you think. Whether you go in 100% or 10%, every little bit helps!
How We Can Reduce Food Waste – Simple ideas
- Simple swaps, big difference: Monitor everything that you throw away for a week and take stock of it on a page in front of you. Is there anything you can do different next week?
- Get Smart in the Kitchen: Plan your weekly meals ahead of time, use grocery lists and try to buy only as much as you need – if a recipe calls for two carrots, don’t grab a big bag. If you need a little help OR if you’re trying Veganuary and still learning, why not grab your meal plan from a seasoned raw vegan foodie! Yuuga has you covered with a full four weeks on raw meal plan OR a vegan cooking class in London. Not only will you learn new recipes, but it will save you time and let you shop smarter!
- Practice FIFO – First in first out. When unpacking your groceries make sure to move the new stuff to the back of the bridge so that you use older products first!
- Bags – It’s as simple as it gets. Buy and bring reusable bags to the store instead of wasting money on plastic bags.
- Designate one day to ‘use it up’ – Dedicate one day to creating meals that use up any leftovers in your fridge!
- Store it better: Certain products like spinach can go off if left in its original packaging. Remove from plastic and place on paper towel in an airtight container to retain the freshness.
- Can It/Pickle It/Freeze it – set a goal to get more creative in the kitchen. Fermenting and pickling are traditional preservation methods you can use for many fruits and vegetables. Make jam or compote for your porridge from soft fruit or store in the freezer for smoothies.
- Understand labels – When you look at a label for a expiration date, there are two phrases to be aware of.
- Use by: The food should be used before this date.
- Best before: For best taste and freshness use before this date but it’s perfectly ok to eat it after!
- Cut off the bad bits – if a piece of fruit or a vegetable has some soft brown bits on it, cut them off instead of throwing the whole piece away!
- Choose iRaw or Brands alike – There has no doubt been a boom on the market in new healthy brands offering nutritious products on supermarket shelves. A select few have not only your health in mind, but also the planets! By consuming iRaw products, you can rest assured that you are taking a step to reduce waste. ChicP is another brand with such an ethos and with a little research, we’re sure you’ll find more!
Waste Not Want Not – iRaw’s Story
The core of iRaw Healthy Habits lies in reducing food waste. It’s the story of our very first product!
Once upon a time, a raw vegan foodie called Asa was feeling frustrated. She loved the benefits drinking juice and following a the raw vegan lifestyle gave her; endless energy, healthy body and mind. But what could she do with all the pulp?! It felt like an awful waste….
Asa’s first iRaw product began as a kitchen experiment. Late one day, while listening to Snoop Dog, she rolled up her sleeves and started thinking about what she could make from pulp. To the mixture of apples and carrots, she added some walnuts. Hmm, now to balance the sweet taste? Inca berries! And voila, the finished product: a raw vegan cracker now named Rapples.
All of our products have a similar story to tell – read more in this snack smarter post.