Five ways to reduce your food waste

Last updated 05:00 30/10/2012
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A SHAMEFUL WASTE: Don't let the contents of your fridge go to waste.

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There's no excuse for wasting food - here's how to reduce the amount that you chuck out each week.

1. Plan meals using what you already have. Start by looking in the cupboard, fridge and freezer and deciding whether you can make a meal from it. If you shop, stick to the plan rather than impulse-buying extra food.

2. Fresh herbs such as parsley, coriander, basil, dill and chives last up to 10 times longer wrapped in dampened kitchen paper and cling film when stored in the fridge. Meanwhile, don't throw away dried herbs and spices past their best-before date. Just add more to compensate for reduced aroma or flavour.

3. Salad in bags stays fresher for longer if it's removed from the bag and stored in the fridge in an airtight container or bowl with a damp kitchen towel or cloth laid across the top of the leaves.

4. Small quantities of cooked leftovers such as broccoli, tinned fish, peas and potato, can be combined and reused to make a new dish such as fish cakes. Use old tomatoes in a pasta sauce.

5. Store carefully. Most foods can be frozen for another time, and you can always freeze right up to the use-by date (when you need it, just defrost overnight in the fridge and use within 24 hours). Vegetables are at their best for longer stored in the fridge (except potatoes and onions).

- Sydney Morning Herald

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