Oh my, I can’t believe how quickly February seemed to zoom past. Okay, I know it’s the shortest month but it really only feels like it was a couple of days ago that I was starting the #FoodSavvy challenge.
The #FoodSavvy challenge, for those who may not have read my previous posts, was a month-long campaign run by Norfolk & Suffolk County Councils, and the environmental charity Hubbub. They challenged 7 bloggers & influencers across the two counties to see by how much they could reduce their avoidable food waste over the course of a month.
The average household in Norfolk and Suffolk wastes an estimated £810 worth of food every year. That’s 117000 tonnes of food that ends up in landfill every year. How shocking is that?
The #FoodSavvy Challenge – Week 1
I always believed that, as a household, we were pretty good when it came to food waste. If you were to ask me I would have said that out of the four of us it would have been our daughter that generated the most food waste. The first week of the #FoodSavvy challenge flipped both those ideas on their heads.
In the first week, we had to go about our daily food prep as normal – but any food waste we generated had to be put in a caddy and weighed at the end of each day. That was my first wake up call – it’s very easy to not think about food waste when you normally just chuck leftovers in the bin at the end of a meal. Out of sight, out of mind.
But, when those leftovers are sat on your worktop and piling up bit by bit after each meal, it becomes quite a disarming sight. It was also by looking at what made up our food waste that I realised it wasn’t our daughter who wasted the most. It was our son with his tendency to always leave something on his plate.
The #FoodSavvy Challenge – Weeks 2 & 3
Now that we had a week’s worth of waste data we could start looking at ways to reduce our food waste. Each of the bloggers and influencers taking part in the challenge was given a different item or piece of equipment to help them. I was sent a fantastic piece of kit from FoodSaver – the Compact Vacuum Sealing System – to use.
I had great fun using it for freezing portions of chilli after Rob had a big bulk cooking session. I also used it for storing fresh food items, such as halved avocados, in the fridge drawer, and was very impressed at how fresh they remained, even after 48 hours.
In addition to looking at ways of storing and preserving food we also endeavoured to make the most of our leftovers. If there were any leftovers after our evening meal I would more often than not, have them for my lunch the following day.
The #FoodSavvy Challenge – Week 4
Week four was the final week. This week was all about meal planning in an attempt to reduce our food waste. I meal plan religiously each week anyway and have written about it several times, so I went into this week feeling pretty confident about how meal planning could help us.
This was also the week where we had to take daily measurements again to, hopefully, see how well we had managed to reduce our food waste. Would we have managed to reduce it by 20%, which was our goal at the start of the challenge?
So how did we do?
The #FoodSavvy Challenge – Results
The measurements from the baseline test in the first week came to just over 2,010g for the whole week.
The measurements from the final test came to 1,625g – giving us a decrease of 19.1%.
While we didn’t achieve the 20% we were pretty damn close, and I’m actually really pleased with the results as I don’t think it would take much for us to achieve more than 20% if we were to do it again.
I really enjoyed taking part in the #FoodSavvy challenge – I’ve come to the end of the challenge having learnt some great food prep and storage tips and tricks that I know will be very useful. I’ve also discovered a whole range of new recipes to try that make the most of leftovers. But I think the thing I’ve appreciated most from this challenge is that my family, especially the children, now have a greater understanding of the issues surrounding food waste, and they are now far less wasteful than they were back in January.
If you would like to know more about the #FoodSavvy challenge or even take part in the challenge yourself then head over to the Food Savvy website where there is a treasure trove of helpful information designed to help you reduce your avoidable food waste.