Australia’s alarming food waste problem
Imagine dropping one of every five bags of shopping you buy straight into the bin. It sounds unbelievable but, alarmingly, that's the amount of groceries wasted per household in Australia each year.
If food waste were a country, it would be the world's third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases. It takes about 25 years for a head of lettuce to decompose in landfill. Food waste costs the Australian economy an estimated $20 billion per year, yet so many Australians go hungry.
These statistics are just one of the reasons leading premium food brand delicious. on Thursday launches its August issue, dedicated entirely to zero waste, and an accompanying podcast series called Use It Up. Hosted by delicious. food director Phoebe Wood, each episode will feature a special guest and be filled with tips, ideas and storage solutions to help you make the most of every grocery shop.
"A minimal-waste lifestyle has always been important to me," Wood says. "I grew up in the Blue Mountains and my family always made the most of seasonal ingredients, often grown in our backyard, bottling or preserving anything we couldn't get through when it was fresh. I am so excited to help people bring these practices into their own homes so we can all work toward a more sustainable future together."
Thursday's episode sees delicious. senior editor Matt Preston reel off numerous clever hacks for using up broccoli and feta. His feta parmesan is tasted in the episode, and you can download it now to hear his verdict.
Preston believes now is the perfect time to further highlight the conversation around waste, reflecting on trends brought on by pandemic lockdowns. "You learn how to smoke, to make salami, to ferment," he says. "All we're doing now is rediscovering these traditional skills and celebrating them: making sourdough, making sauerkraut."
In an upcoming podcast, former Icebergs chef Monty Koludrovic will discuss how reducing waste can actually bring a lot of fun into the kitchen. "When you want to minimise waste, you've got to throw out the rule book," he says. "Not many recipes are pre-written or published that just happen to have what you've got in your fridge on a Wednesday evening, so you've got to just have a play."
It's also time to get behind our country's producers who have suffered so badly from natural disasters of fire, flood and drought, and now the global pandemic.
Podcast guest Magdalena Roze - via video from Byron Bay with her chef partner Darren Robertson, of Three Blue Ducks - has a passion for buying locally. "There's something about driving through the hills daily," she says. "You're going to the farmers themselves to pick up the produce. Sometimes when I look at a plate, whether it's at the restaurant or at home, I can honestly look at every single thing on there and know the face behind it."
Approaching food and cooking through the lens of seasonality and waste reduction is good for the environment and healthier for your budget - and this is where Use It Up comes in.
Subscribe today via the podcast app or Spotify, or visit delicious.com.au/podcast for more information
Originally published as Australia's alarming food waste problem