Are you guilty…?

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OK, hands up if you’re guilty of wasting food.

 Hey, I see those virtual arms going up everywhere!

Picture this: You’ve at the supermarket and piling your trolley high with fresh fruit, vegetables… and the very best intentions. You’re on a juice fast this weekend! You need to increase the family’s 5-plus a day! Heck, you’ve just always wanted to make cauliflower rice!

A few days later, and another carrot, beet and turmeric smoothie? Pass.

Eat the rainbow? Oh no, not again Mum, beg the kids.

And that cauliflower rice? Meh, it’s left you craving carbs even more.

Another week and you find yourself cleaning out your crisper, sadly tossing away limp carrots, soggy cucumbers and slimy spinach leaves. Ah well, the thought was there, right?

Or was it? Because how much food do we really waste in New Zealand? Let’s look at the stats.

Kiwis throw away 157,389 tonnes of food a year, according to www.lovefoodhatewaste.co.nz.

Just imagine: That’s  271 jumbo jets of food that has to go somewhere to rot, instead of being eaten. And the cost of all this food is a staggering $1.17 billion each year – enough to feed the entire town of Dunedin for nearly three years!

And call the police! Because some big offenders lurk in your fruit bowl.

Yep, New Zealand families waste around 16,000-plus tonnes of oranges, apples and bananas every year. Just throwing those spotty brown bananas away could be costing you around $30 a year. Yeah, yeah, chump change, you say. But seriously who wants to have more dollars than sense?

If you want to stop wasting food, particularly fruit and vegetables, start thinking about how you shop for your food – and how you store it.

Here are 3 simple steps to get you going!

PLAN IT FRESH! – Stir fry on Monday, curry on Tuesday, roast on Wednesday… Plan your meals and you’ll know exactly what ingredients you’ll need for the week and how much to buy. Money saved. Food waste reduced. Stress over what to have for dinner? Yeah, sorted!

LIST & SHOUT! – For goodness sake, just make a shopping list. Don’t leave it at home – and stick to it! Then check how much money you save, not to mention time (an aimless wander around the supermarket is a sure way to tempt you into buying stuff you don’t need!)

FRIDGE, FREEZE & FRESHKEEPER – Get smart about how you store your food.

Fridges extend the life of foods like dairy and deli goods. Freezers are leftovers’ best friends.

And Freshkeeper sachets? They’re your star helpers when it comes to keeping your fruit and veg fresher for longer. Tuck a little Freshkeeper in your fridge crisper, wedge another in your fruit bowl… the sachets are specially designed to neutralise ethylene – your number 1 enemy when it comes to keeping fresh produce… well, fresh.

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