The increase in food prices is one of the most repeated laments of any grocery shopper. It is more than notable that the cost of the shopping basket has taken off in recent years. In 2022, Spaniards will spend 105 billion euros on food purchases, 9.1% more than the previous year, a record, according to the consulting firm NielsenIQ.

And despite the fact that going to the market is becoming more and more expensive, the volume of food waste is still enormous, which also has a high environmental impact.

Worldwide, 1.3 billion tons of food are wasted every year, an amount that would be enough to feed two billion people, according to data from the FAO, the United Nations agency leading the international effort to end world hunger. Tremendous task.

The figure for food waste in Spain in 2022 reached 1,170 million kilos. Scandalous, isn’t it? While not comforting, at least it was 6.1% less than in 2021.

However, the responsibility is not only what we do behind the doors of our homes, because food waste begins in the field and continues in the production process of that food.

So we all have to ‘get our act together’. Everyone at home and the agri-food industry in their day-to-day work.

To help you do your bit, we are going to give you 8 tips to reduce food waste in your home.

But first, to set an example, we are going to tell you what we do at Peris to reduce food waste as operators in the agri-food industry.

Corporate Social Responsibility at Peris to reduce food waste

Fruits and vegetables in the fourth range: peeled and chopped, ready for consumption.

There are many ‘ugly’ foods, with non-normative shapes, that in any greengrocer’s shop would be the forgotten ones, the ones that no one would take. However, these foods are still perfect for consumption.

At Peris, we always use
quality fruit and vegetables for the pre-prepared convenience food division (pre-prepared convenience food).
and these also include ‘ugly’ fruits and vegetables. Or fruits that may have suffered a bruise and by eliminating that area, they are still in perfect condition for consumption.

We select them, peel them and cut them into pieces. And they are ready for consumption.

Expert peeling and chopping also reduces the waste we can generate at home by peeling fruits such as pineapple, mango, pomegranate, pumpkin and others.

2. Animal feed for the livestock sector.

The fruit skins or leaves that we discard from the white celery
white celery
are a gourmet meal for the cows at a nearby cattle ranch. They eat fresh and healthy products for their diet and we give a new life to those wastes, which would end up in the garbage if it weren’t for these ruminants. It is a good example of circular economy.

3. Melon and pumpkin seeds for functional foods.

We also use the seeds we discard from melon and pumpkin in the fresh-cut range.

For example, we collaborate with a company that makes vegan cheeses with melon seed oil.

We also have a collaboration agreement with the University of Castilla-La Mancha, which uses the oil from our pumpkin and melon seeds for the production of functional foods, eliminating saturated fats and replacing them with these oils, which are polyunsaturated and much healthier.

Of course, we are always trying to improve processes to reduce the loss resulting from our activity. The quality department is on the lookout to achieve the goal of reducing food waste in the company.

All of this is also in line with the universal principles of the United Nations Global Compact, in which various environmental measures to address climate change play a major role.

8 tips to avoid food waste in your home

If you are also motivated to contribute from home to reduce the amount of food you throw away, here are 8 good tips. It is not necessary to apply them all at once, because the changes cost. But it is advisable to take them into account and add them little by little, until they become a habit.

1. Go through the batch cooking and plan a weekly menu:

Batch cooking is a system that allows you to organize your weekly meals to save time. The usual practice is to cook all the week’s dishes in a single day, or to leave them practically finished, and consume them throughout the week. This saves a lot of time if you don’t have it during the week and helps you against food waste, because knowing what meals you are going to make that week, you only buy what you need to prepare those recipes.

2. Go shopping with a shopping list and without hunger:

Make a list of everything you need to buy and, before you leave, check that you don’t have any of those foods at home. It will also help you to go to the store without hunger, so as not to make impulse purchases, which, in addition, are usually of unhealthy foods.

3. Store food well:

Learn how to store food correctly, using airtight containers and labeling products with best-before or use-by dates. Organize them by putting those that are going to expire earlier at hand.

4. Take advantage of the freezer:

Use your freezer to preserve perishable foods such as meat, bread, fruits and vegetables before they spoil. You can also freeze individual portions of meals to eat another day, which helps reduce fresh food waste.

5. Don’t eat with your eyes, but with your common sense:

Serve adequate amounts to avoid leftovers ending up in the garbage. Much of the food waste comes from cooked food.

6. Be creative with leftovers:

Transform leftovers into new meals, such as salads, smoothies, casseroles… They are called “leftover recipes” and there are several websites that will help you find recipes based on the food you have in your fridge or pantry.

7. The best before date is not the expiration date:

Some foods have an expiration date and others have a best-before date. The latter usually still have a life time after the expiration date. Before throwing them away, use common sense, smell and taste the food before throwing it away. If everything looks right, consume it. If you have any doubts, it is better to discard it, and next time try to consume it before it reaches the best-before date shown by the manufacturer or producer.

8. Awareness to the whole family:

Educate your family about the importance of reducing food waste and encourage a culture of food waste at home. It can be very creative and motivating to deal with these changes as a team.