The average Australian family throws out a staggering $3000 of waste food a year, that's $20billion worth going to the tip nationally.
It's a staggering amount at any time but at the moment when so many people are struggling financially from the economic effects of the pandemic, it's particularly alarming.
According to the Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre there are 7.3 million tonnes of food wasted in Australia each year, enough to fill semi-trailers that would stretch from Perth to Sydney.
The Fight Food Waste CRC wants to reduce food waste and put money back into the pockets of people who are doing it tough. It has started a new social media campaign 'it's easy as' to provide Australians with much needed messages, tips and tricks on how to save money by reducing their food waste.
Chairman John Webster said it was more important than ever to reduce food waste and the social media campaign would give people ideas to make the most of the food they buy.
"We want everyone to know that this is an important issue, here in Australia," he said.
"Our fantastic participants here at the CRC have already developed many resources to help everyone, so we've brought them together in a new content hub so you can find what you need no matter where you are around the country.
"You could join the 'loving a list' challenge from Sustainability Victoria, or find resources from the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, both are on our content hub.
"The ACT Government will shortly be launching a food waste campaign and the South Australian Government provides advice to householders on waste and recycling through the Which Bin campaign, and East Waste have the Why waste it? campaign to help get food waste out of landfill.
"We've also have easy recipes from the UK's Love Food Hate Waste program, as well as Food Saver tips from Woolworths and storage ideas from our food charity partners.
"Our national survey late last year of over 5,000 Australian households told us that 76% of the population were motivated to reduce food waste, yet there are still many concerns and confusion around food safety and date labels, so we've made sure to include information about that so that we can all be confident in our decisions to provide the best food for our families."
The Fight Food Waste CRC launched in July 2018, and brings together industry, research and the community to capitalise on Australia's food waste opportunities.
The Fight Food Waste CRC is funded by the Australian Government's Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources as part of the CRC Program that supports industry-led collaborations between industry, researchers and the community.
Fight Food Waste CRC 'it's easy as' website has heaps of tips for buying well, food saving and recipes for using up those left overs.
Here's a quick and easy dish from Love Food Hate Waste, Scotland
Quick Mince Stirfry
20 - 30 mins
The fastest, easiest stir-fry! Just brown your mince, stir-fry those veggies and this dish will be ready in under 30 minutes.
- 300g minced meat e.g. chicken, turkey, pork, beef, quorn
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 or 3 vegetables e.g. onions, spring onions, carrots, broccoli, peppers, onions, courgette, sugar snaps, spinach, celery, cabbage pak choi etc - chopped or shredded
- 1 tsp Chinese five spice powder (or pinch each of chilli powder or flakes, ground ginger, ground coriander)
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp sesame or vegetable oil for frying
- 1 pack of dried egg noodles, cooked according to packet instructions
Add 1/2 the oil to a wok or non-stick frying pan. Brown the mince and set aside.
Add the rest of the oil to the pan with the garlic, spices and chopped vegetables.
Stir-fry for a few minutes, then add the soy sauce. Combine the stir-fry mix with the cooked noodles. Serve immediately.
Here is easy recipe from Sustainability Victoria
Ham chicken ceasar salad
A family favourite that's great for using up leftover ham, chicken and stale bread.
- 4 slices stale bread, cut into cubes
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons crushed garlic
- salt and pepper
- 2 heads baby cos lettuce
- 400gm cold cooked chicken, shredded
- 200gm leg ham, cut into 1cm cubes
- 1/2 cup shaved parmesan1/2 cup Caesar dressing
- Options: 4 softly boiled eggs, quartered, 6 anchovies, finely chopped
- Heat oven to 180°C.
- To make croutons: in a bowl, combine bread, olive oil, crushed garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper, and mix until bread is well coated. Spread out on a baking tray and bake for 5-10 mins or until golden and crunchy.
- Meanwhile, remove the stalk end of the cos and separate and rinse the leaves. Arrange neatly on a large serving platter. Drizzle half of the dressing over the top.
- Spread shredded chicken and ham evenly over the top and sprinkle with the parmesan.
- Top with the slightly cooled bread croutons, the remainder of the dressing and, if using, the boiled eggs and/or anchovies.
Tip: Ham or bacon can be used in this recipe and you can also add extra vegetables such as cucumber, tomato or red onion.