Fight Food Waste at Christmas

Fight Food Waste at Christmas

Six of Australia's top chefs reveal their top tips to use up commonly wasted foods

On a mission to help reduce food wastage in the home over the silly season, Electrolux has teamed up with OzHarvest and six of Australia's top chefs to challenge people to use up what's in their fridge by being creative in the way they prep, shop, cook and store their food.

Food waste is a global problem and costs Australians more than $20 billion each year, resulting in over 5 million tonnes of food landfill. Furthermore, a staggering 35 per cent of the $10 billion Australians spend on food over Christmas ending up as landfill.

With almost half of this food waste happening at home, chefs Jacqui Challinor (Nomad), Mitch Orr (ACME), Stewart Wesson (Whistle & Flute), James Viles (Biota), Richard Ousby (Stokehouse Restaurants) and Massimo Mele (Grain of the Silos) have shared their top tips for people to reduce food waste by using up the ingredients which commonly end up as garbage - milk, cheese, bananas, chicken, eggs, rice, potatoes, tomatoes, bread, carrot, mince, lemons, herbs, prawns, ham and turkey.

James Viles, Electrolux Ambassador and Executive Chef at Biota, says: "There is enough food produced worldwide to feed everyone, yet so many people are still going hungry. As a chef, we're taught a great respect for food and the importance of using the whole animal or plant. I hope that by sharing tips to reduce food waste, people will be encouraged to cook smarter and use commonly wasted ingredients in inventive ways."

Chef tips to reduce food waste at home:
Pre-plan your meals and base them around what you already have in your fridge, freezer and pantry
Always write a shopping list
Never shop on an empty stomach otherwise you'll make impulse purchases or over-shop
It's more economical to buy whole pieces of meat, then break it down at home. This also forces you to learn how to use up every part of the meat
Invest in quality appliances that are designed to keep your food fresh for longer such as the Electrolux French Door Fridge with FreshPlus™ technology
Learn how to store fresh foods correctly in your fridge. Keep vegetable and fruit in the crispers, meat on the bottom shelf and leftovers in airtight containers
Cook only what you need. If you do have leftovers, be creative and transform it into something delicious for your next meal
Likewise, if you go out for dinner and order too much food, take the rest home and have it for lunch. There's nothing wrong with a doggy bag!

Fun ways to use up some of the most commonly wasted foods:
Always keep leftover egg whites for meringue or the egg yolks to make custard or mayonnaise – Massimo Mele (Grain of the Silos)
Everyone should learn how to pickle and ferment foods. It's is a great way to use up any vegetables that are in the fridge – Jacqui Challinor (NOMAD)
Keep all your old lettuce and all your old herbs. You can burn all those or char them on the grill, puree them up with oil and then make a pesto – James Viles (Biota)
If you have leftover rice after dinner one night, you can turn it into rice pudding or congee the next day – Mitch Orr (ACME)
One of my favourite ways to use old bread is to turn it into tacos by flattening the bread and using a cup to cut out the round shape. Then lightly fry the bread into tacos – delicious! – Stewart Wesson (Whistle & Flute)
Take your herbs and blend them down with oil. They'll last for months in the fridge if they're under oil – Stewart Wesson (Whistle & Flute)
Turn stale bread into a Spanish bread sauce (ajo blanco) by combining it with almonds and olive oil and then blitzing it up until it's nice and smooth – Jacqui Challinor (NOMAD)