Tis the season to reduce food waste!

Tis the season to reduce food waste!

This time of the year tends to be when a lot of food is bought, prepared and unintentionally wasted – so to help you reduce food waste the Best Foods Leftover Lunch Truck have compiled some tips.


Holiday Season Waste Tips n’ Tricks

Christmas and Hannukah festivities are nearing, along with the almost compulsory BBQ season. This means the nation’s food waste reaches an all-time high because over purchasing (hello two-for-one deals) and panic-buying leads to a surplus of leftover ingredients that go straight to the bin.

As much as we all love getting the whanau and friends together for celebrations, no one likes wasting food – let alone money. So, to help Aotearoa stop wasting good food this Christmas (and save some dollars) Best Foods has teamed up with Love Food Hate Waste to provide you with some top tips n’ tricks to help you tackle your holiday celebrations and reduce your footprint.

Remember, your Christmas meal doesn’t need to be too big or perfect – focus on what Christmas feels like, not what it looks like. Make enjoying time with friends and family a priority, with a nice home-cooked meal being only one part of the overall experience.


The Christmas Day Food Shop

Planning is KEY – write a shopping list

Resist the urge to overbuy and aimlessly wander the supermarket by writing a shopping list and check what’s already in the cupboard. This will help you avoid doubling up on ingredients and is one of the easiest ways we can reduce food waste.

Portions – be realistic

Think about how many people you will be cooking for and how much they will be likely to eat. Remember, young children aren’t going to need as much food as an adult. Christmas meals don’t need to be about the amount of food or perfect presentation – it’s about spending quality time together!

Use By versus Best Before

Aim to purchase food that has a use-by date that isn’t too soon or opt for best before when you can. Best before doesn’t mean it has to be eaten by that date – use-by refers to food safety while best before is an indication of the food’s quality. Click here for more information.

Don’t get overwhelmed

Christmas shopping is overwhelming for many of us which is where panic buying comes in. Take a step back and ask yourself ‘do I really need this?’ and try schedule a time to shop in advance to reduce it being a mad dash.

Treat Christmas as a normal day

Food shopping for Christmas can be stressful – especially the fear of forgetting something which often leads to people stocking up and purchasing unnecessary items. Treat Christmas as any other day and remember you probably don’t need that fifth loaf of bread.

Best Foods Leftovers Hacks

Go buffet-style: If you’re serving a large party, go buffet-style and let guests choose what they please – whatever’s left can go in the freezer or be repurposed for another dish in the week.

Cooking hack: Purchase a chicken that’s smaller than you think you’ll need and cook it upside down to avoid the meat drying.

Frozen fruit for the win: Preparing a classic pavlova or dessert with berries? Go frozen! This way you can place the leftovers back in the freezer for a future date without worrying about them going off.

Go small: Buy things like smoked salmon in small individual packages – this way you can work out how much you need and not over purchase. Whatever doesn’t get used can go in the freezer or you can whip up a delish salmon and egg scramble for brekkie.

Avoid the bags: When it comes to the veggies, avoid purchasing bags and instead select them individually.

Love your leftovers: if you do find yourself with a surplus of uneaten dishes or leftover ingredients, not to worry! There are plenty of simple and delicious recipes that you can try to make the most of these ingredients without sending them to the bin (it’s a win-win!).

Potato, Kumara and Beef Hash