At Asda we are committed to being a zero waste business which means that any waste we do generate is either reused, recycled or redistributed.
We have a target to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030 and as part of that, we are really proud that in 2020 through our Fareshare partnership, our stores, depots and home office donated enough surplus food to make the equivalent of 5.1 million meals. This makes sure that edible food which cannot be sold goes to charities, who help local communities.
Excess bread is used as animal feed, while we also give food away to customers, but we know that with millions of tonnes of food wasted across the UK ever year, more needs to be done.
Wasting perfectly good food doesn’t just hurt the pockets – up to £210 a year - but we know that it is a major cause of climate change, generating more greenhouse gas emissions than all the commercial flights in the world!
This is why we are supporting WRAP’s Food Waste Action Week, which will ask the public to take part in a simple challenge to try to reduce their own household food waste to as close to zero as possible.
WRAP will be focussing on a different theme each day, from food storage and portion planning to creative ways to use up food, and practical steps such as setting fridge temperature correctly.
To help, they have pulled together 10 top tips to keep food out of the bin, save money and help the environment.
1) It’s a date! ‘Use by’ is about safety – food should not be eaten after this date (even if it looks/smells fine). ‘Best before’ is about quality – although food won’t be at top quality after this date, it will still be safe to eat for some time.
2) Compleat. Always binning crusts and brocolli stems? Over two-thirds of the food we waste is perfectly edible, so using every edible bit of your food (‘compleating’) is essential. Try leaving the skin on when you make mashed potato – this will save you time as well!
3) Chill the fridge out. The average fridge temperature in UK homes is nearly 7°C, but foods will last longer if they are kept at under 5°C. Not sure how to adjust your fridge temperature? Love Food Hate Waste can help.
4) Perfect portions. Hands up who has ever found themselves with far too much rice or pasta? It’s easy to do, but there are simple ways to cook the perfect amount. For example, a mug filled with dry rice will cook enough for four adults.
5) Snap a shelfie. If you’re not a fan of shopping lists, take a picture of your fridge/cupboard shelves before you head to the shops instead. This will stop you from buying something you’ve already got at home.
6) Savvy storage. Most fruit and veg will stay fresher for longer in the fridge. The key exceptopns are bananas and pineapple (keep these on the counter), and onions and potatoes (which should be kept in a cool, dark, dry place – like a cupboard!). Not sure where something should be stored? Try our Food Storage A-Z!
7) Freeze up to the ‘use by’ date. All foods with a ‘use by’ date, including meat, can be frozen right up to this date. This is especially helpful if your plans change at the last minute – before you order an emergency takeaway, check your fridge for anything that can be frozen for another day.
8) Ice-cube tray – the freezer hero. Too much milk, not enough time? Pour your remaining milk into ice-cube trays and freeze – this is the perfect amount for a brew. You can use ice-cube trays to freeze herbs too. Chop them up, pop them in the tray and top up with oil, and then you have easy portions to add to the pan next time you’re cooking.
9) Use your loaf. Bread is another food that freezes beautifully. Put your sliced loaf in the freezer, and then you can pick out a slice at a time and toast striaight from frozen. Extra tip: tap your loaf on the counter before you freeze it to stop the slices sticking together.
10) Unidentified Frozen Objects. Before you freeze your leftovers, label the bag/container telling you what’s incide and when you froze it.
At Asda you will hear us promote the action week in store through Asda Radio and read about it on our social media channels as well as our Create Change for Better website. We are also helping our colleagues make a big difference with WRAP’s household food waste expert Helen White hosting a webinar for suppliers and colleagues and a cook-a-long for colleagues to show how commonly waste food can be used up.