Save Food Cut Waste Campaign in Singapore

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One of my friends shared how disappointed she was when someone posted a picture of their unfinished food and announced that it was because she over-ordered.  It reminds me of how we have become a throw-away society.   My grandma told me that her generation would mend clothes, make do with what they had, make meals out of left-overs or even out of food scraps.  Stepping into her small flat was like stepping back in time because she never threw out things that were still working. She even made her own heat reflectors from the insides of UHT Tetrapaks to beat the heat - that's how innovative she was!  I wonder what happened to our generation? Does having more money give us the right to take things for granted?

I thought it was very appropriate that there is going to be a Save Food Cut Waste campaign. It is an awareness campaign to get Singaporeans to think about the environmental and social impacts of food waste, and to encourage them to take action in reducing food waste. It will be out in November, and that's very thoughtful as Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year are just around the corner!  Do support them!

So what are some of the things that you do to reduce food waste? How do you use your leftovers? Here's what we do in my family, and most, if not all, are tips from my mum:

a) If we're dining at a Western restaurant, our family of three (2 big and one small) always order two adult portions and a side and share them with our child.  We find that if we order a kid's meal just for our kid, or another adult portion, there will always be leftovers.

Use serving cutlery!

b) We always use a serving spoon or a pair of serving chopsticks.  To westerners this may seem strange, but serving cutlery did not feature in my family meals until after the SARS incident almost 10 years ago.  I find that if we contaminate our food less, whatever is left over is good to keep for the next day. Remember that leftovers shouldn't be kept for more than 3 days in the fridge and if you know that you are not going to use it, pop it in the freezer with a label.

c) What do we usually do with your leftovers?  Usually it will end up in a Chinese stir-fry of vegetables, or fried rice or vermicelli noodles :-)

Freeze bread!

d) Freeze our bread if it's nearing the best before date! It's still good enough to eat - pop it in the toaster or use it to make bread crumbs :-)

Make a shopping list before hitting the supermarket!

e) Plan your meals and only buy what's on your list, although I know it's very difficult when you hit the supermarket and you see a buy "two get one free" sign.  We should resist the urge to buy those items.  Also, I find it's good to inspect your larder now and then to use those items that are nearing the expiry date :-)

Gosh, I didn't realise how long this post is!!!  Hope to hear from you :-)

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