A Port Macquarie nutritionist says a lot of people aren’t aware of the financial cost of throwing out food.
Emma Schwartzkoff said people often discard perishables from their fridge including vegetables, fruit and dairy.
She said people might only use an item once and then believe they have no use for the rest of the item.
Common items which find themselves in the bin include lettuce, meat and herbs.
Ms Schwartzkoff is calling on people to be mindful about how much of an item they need if cooking for one or two people.
“Think about the vegetables you are buying and instead of buying a bag of carrots buy one,” she said.
She advises if people cook a meal using a larger vegetable such as pumpkin they should cook the whole item rather than thinking they will ‘save some for later’.
Ms Schwartzkoff said people should freeze individual portions of any meal leftovers rather than freezing it in one large batch.
She advises people to be open to ideas including sharing excess food with family, friends or even work colleagues in an effort to reduce the financial and environmental cost of food wastage.
“I believe it is a cost which is greatly underestimated by people,” Ms Schwartzkoff said.
“For example if you spend about $3 a week on herbs and you are not using the whole bunch that’s a hundred dollars wasted a year.”
Ms Schwartzkoff encourages organisation when it comes to purchasing food items from the supermarket. She said too many people go to the shop without an idea of what they are going to cook.
“I would advise planning out meals for the week and following recipes to ensure they aren’t buying more food than they can eat,” she said.
The Port Macquarie-Hastings Council offers residents a free kitchen food waste bin. For more information visit www.pmhc.nsw.gov.au