Food Wastage and You


WORDS Stephanie Lewis

Food wastage is crazy. Environmentally, it is one of the main contributors to the production of greenhouse gases and also significantly adds to landfill. Economically, in NSW alone households throw away $694 million worth of leftovers each year. As a cash savvy/povo uni student, I say no to this wasting of money! Food wastage seems even more ludicrous considering how many people in the world don’t have enough to eat. Not only is this a sustainable issue, and an economic one, it’s an ethical one too. Surely if we can afford the food we need, we shouldn’t waste it.

So I think there are two ways to go about it. The first would be the meticulous kind of meal planning that would result in no leftovers at all! However, I realise this is highly unattainable and would dampen a lot of spirits.The alternative, and what I am all about, is embracing leftovers. There are so many ways you can do this! Roast random leftover veggies and make a roast veggie salad! Put it in a pie (whatever ‘it’ is. Literally. Add pastry and you’re alright). Purée it and make it a soup (however I would not recommend puréeing leftover fish and making a soup. I don’t think that would be a winner). There are heaps of resources you can check out, countless cookbooks and some great websites too.

To get started, try some recipes on, and on Also check out your local council website, as some run ‘cooking with leftovers’ workshops for free.

The most fun of all, however, can be making dishes up as you go. Sure, it might not always end up as something edible, but at least you had a go!

NOTE: please don’t try and use anything legitimately old or past its use by date. That’s not doing anyone any favours. It’s important to know when to let go. Let your nose be the guide.

[quote]Did you know? Australia can produce enough food to support 80 million people; and Australian households throw out more than $8 billion worth of food every year.[/quote]