5 steps to reducing #MealPrep waste
#MealPrep is a huge trend at the moment, with thousands of people up and down the country spending their Sunday evenings dividing pre-prepared food into portions for the week. However, we recently found that as much as a third of all meal-prepped food is thrown in the bin. The main reasons for this waste revolve around uncertainty on food safety, forgetting the food needs to be eaten and getting bored of eating the same food for a few days in a row. Sound familiar? Here are some top tips to help you get the most out of your meal prep.
Try meal-swapping with friends or colleagues
If you’re guilty of throwing food away through boredom, meal swapping is a great way to cut down your meal prep food waste. Find a friend or colleague who meal preps too, then arrange to trade two of your prepped meals for theirs. You could even turn this into a competition to ensure you both get as inventive as possible – a sure-fire way to guarantee tasty meals.
Get clued-up on food safety facts
Our research shows that one of the biggest reasons meal-preppers throw away food is that they are unsure how long their meals are still safe to eat. If this sounds familiar, make sure you’re storing and labelling your food correctly. Most freshly cooked meat and veg will last four of five days if refrigerated in an airtight container. Labelling the meal you’ve cooked and the date it was prepped will give you peace of mind that it’s safe to eat, especially if you’re cooking in large batches
Make use of the freezer
When it comes to meal-prep fatigue, the freezer is your friend. If you know you’re going to get bored of a meal after a few days, simply pop it in the freezer and prepare something different. That way you’ll have a load of healthy and nutritious frozen ready-meals for when you don’t want to cook later on. Just be sure you remember they're there - it's all too easy to let the freezer become a temporary stop for meals on their way to the bin!
Re purpose your prep
This is another great way to make sure you’re not getting bored with a meal. Leftover pasta can easily be spiced up with a new sauce, transformed into a yummy pasta bake or added to a frittata recipe. Leftover chicken? Try making a curry or soup, or team it with leftover salad and make a chicken salad sandwich. Creativity is the key to combatting food waste.
Prep in smaller batches
If you know you’re likely to be bored of your lunch by the middle of the week, then only meal prep for the first half of the week. This also gives you the flexibility to go out for lunch or dinner if the opportunity arises without feeling guilty about throwing your extra meals in the bin.