Action 353: Plan Christmas meals so as to avoid food waste

Christmas dinnerDate: 19 December
Action: 353
Cost of taking action: NIL


With a bit of forward planning you can limit food waste and Christmas AND save money

Christmas is one of those times where those of us that can simply eat too much.

We also eat very wastefully. At Christmas, far more food than at other times ends up getting binned.

This is expensive, unethical, and does damage to the environment. Damage to the environment, in turn, is two-fold – damage done by the production of the food that is never eaten, and damage done by its disposal.

Please take a few simple measures to try and reduce the amount of wasted food this year.

What measures can be taken?

It’s all about common sense really, just think ahead a little and be a little bit more critical of your own shopping lists. Here are a few tips that might help:

  • plan the meals in advance and create a proper shopping list
  • store food carefully
  • pay attention to best-before and use-by dates
  • don’t automatically “go large” because it’s Christmas .. do you really need that 10lb turkey!?
  • defrost and learn how to cook your turkey properly, part cooked meat often ends up in the bin
  • co-ordinate with others so that not everyone buys the same foods and snacks
  • plan Boxing Day meals to use leftover turkey and other meats
  • serve sensible portions, food not served can then easily be frozen if not required for “seconds”
  • use the fridge and freezer thoughtfully
  • don’t buy sprouts of no-one really likes them!
  • avoid Christmas multi-buy offers, they are often a false economy

Why should I care about this?

Food waste is unethical … it is unacceptable that food is being thrown away by some populations when others do not have enough to live.

Food waste is expensive … everything you throw in your bin, someone has paid for.

Reducing food waste helps the environment by:

  • you will reduce the carbon dioxide emissions used to provide your meals
  • you will reduce the use of plastic packaging
  • you will limit the amount of food going into bins and then landfill
  • rotting food in landfill produced carbon dioxide and methane emissions (greenhouse gases)
  • discarded food unbalances local eco systems (and attracts vermin)

Take action

Please give some thought to your Christmas period meal planning and try to reduce the amount of waste. It doesn’t mean cutting back on the fun and festivities, just thinking about what really is needed.