Thursday 8 October 2020

‘Filter Out Food Waste’ with Arla Cravendale (AD)

 Over the past few weeks, I have been working with Arla Cravendale on an exciting study all around reducing food waste and becoming more sustainable as a result. Arla are passionate about crafting the purest fresh British milk; they finely filter their milk to make it purer for a delicious taste - but this also means it lasts twice as long as standard, fresh milk.

Research from WRAP (a sustainability charity) has found that Brits collectively pour away 490 million pints of milk because it's 'gone past it's best'. They have found that switching to long-lasting milks, like Arla Cravendale, which lasts 7 days opened (vs. 3 days standard fresh) and 21 days unopened (vs. 14 days standard fresh), could reduce the amount of milk that is thrown away by around 80%! 

Arla Cravendale's 'Filter Out Food Waste' campaign has been put together to help show that smarter choices when you're in the supermarket can help your reduce your waste and therefore be more sustainable.

I must admit, we have been guilty of wasting a lot of food many times and I was interested in being involved with this campaign, as I have been trying to reduce my food waste over the last few months myself. I've been keeping a diary of what food we bought and what food we wasted and why; read on to hear more!

Day 1:

Day 2:

Day 3:

You can see my main waste was in the bin rather than things we pour down the sink but I was guilty of pouring half a carton of milk away that was out of date! A few things were chucked away that I had bought on an offer '2 for £2' or '3 for 2' but then I hadn't used it all up. The salami pack hadn't even been opened which was such a waste. It feels like you're saving money when you're in the shop but actually if it just gets thrown away - it's not saving you money or food waste! A few 'half used' things I hadn't even noticed had gone off until I checked them before going shopping and cleared out my fridge. 

As well as my waste diary, I took a go-pro video of me doing my food shop so an expert could analyse my shopping habits and patterns while in store. They got it spot on that I always look at the offers and grab a few impulse buys. I do find it hard as we're currently doing 12 lunchboxes a week for the girls and I worry I will run out of supplies. But the reality is I'm wasting half of it!

Expert recommendations:
1. Meal plan all meals and buy accordingly so you know what will be used.
2. Only make things that will get eaten 
3. Check through the fridge more often than just before shopping, to see what can be used up before it's too late,
4. Taking veg out of plastic bags and stacking with heaviest veg at the bottom will help preserve it,
5. Be aware of sell-by dates and put them facing towards you so you can consume them
6. Think about quantities - is it for a snack or a full meal? Resist an offer on 3 for 2 if in reality, it won't be eaten.

With my expert advice, I set about doing my rough meal plan for all meals and I did my food shopping online to see if I could get the quantities I needed without wasting as much. Leaving the offers was hard I'll tell you, haha... but hopefully it will save waste. I'd rather buy more if I run out, than end up just throwing it away.

I rearranged my fridge, so that I could see use by dates, put them in date order and once something had been opened, I even kept a list on my chalkboard of things to 'use up' within a couple of days. Of course, this week I purchased Arla Cravendale as well, instead of the milk we used to buy, to see if it will save me pouring it away again!

I was surprised how much of a difference this made for me to be able to use everything up. Checking my fridge every morning to see what needed to be used that day was so helpful, I am using up leftovers for lunch and finishing things that have already been opened before opening something else. It has saved us throwing away so much food and has made our food stretch even further which just feels amazing for the purse strings and the environment. 

Waste diary before:

Waste diary now:

All we are really wasting now is things that can't be eaten like banana skins and veg peelings. Having said that, I have been searching for recipes to use up waste and we have made our own crisps from potato peelings instead of throwing them away! A few other good things I have found is blitzing the end crusts of bread into breadcrumbs and freezing them to make our own chicken nuggets in the future and freezing leftover homemade cakes for future too! I now check my fridge every morning when I get back from the school run to see what I need to use up for lunch or dinner that day and what I can put together for an afternoon snack when the girls get home from school. 

This way I'm definitely able to use most things up or find a recipe I can do to use it up before it goes off and ends up being thrown away. As well as saving waste, we're also discovering new recipes and eating more of a variety of different things and getting creative in the kitchen which I've been loving. 

To find out how much milk you could save, alongside top tips on reducing kitchen waste, check out [URL tbc]

If you are interested in receiving a free Waste Action pack that includes the diary cards I have used above, buy any bottle of Cravendale in Tesco during the campaign period, keep your receipt & claim your free Waste Action Pack visit

What are your tips for saving waste?

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