Australians discard $5.2 billion worth of food annually and that figure is increasing.
To help reduce food waste, Griffith University researchers are showing people how to use their leftovers to create delicious, healthy meals.
Waste Not, Want Not is a two-week Social Marketing @ Griffith pilot program which began on March 20. It was led by Professor Sharyn Rundle-Thiele from Griffith Business School and developed in partnership with Redland City Council.
“One way to reduce waste is to start with food in the home,’’ Professor Sharyn Rundle-Thiele says.
“The overall aim of Waste Not, Want Not is to raise awareness of food waste in Redland City and to help residents save time and money by reducing their waste.
“The program focuses on helping people to cook meals using the ingredients they already have in their fridges, which will in turn help minimise wasted food.”
Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the unique campaign was part of Council’s commitment to reducing waste across the city.
“About 23 per cent of the waste in local bins is food waste, which costs the city money and impacts the wider environment with much of it going to landfill,” Cr Williams said.
“Council is always looking for new ways to reduce waste and this campaign is a different way to get the messages out there and support residents in reducing food waste in their own homes.
“This campaign is an example of Redland City Council’s innovative approach to environmental issues. We are constantly thinking outside the box and looking for unique solutions that our residents can then adopt in their own homes.
During the program, an interactive shopping centre display at Stocklands Shopping Centre in Cleveland featured two fridges stocked with food.
Griffith University volunteers and staff asked shoppers to open the fridge and they will then discuss what they could cook using the displayed ingredients.
“Griffith’s team asked shoppers to think about food reuse. Shoppers were given recipe cards that provide creative ideas to reuse food contents that were found in typical Redland household fridges,” Professor Rundle-Thiele said.
“A series of recipes including pizza, rosti, frittatas, Nasi Goreng, platters and soups were cooked by Dominique Rizzo and offered for tasting with different recipes featured each day.”
The recipes were designed using fruits and vegetables commonly identified in the fridge contents survey of Redland City Council residents.
Waste Not, Want Not culminated with a Master Chef-style celebrity cook-off with Queensland chefs Mathew Lee from restaurant Cutty Sark and Eugene Lee from Colour Me Flavour on Thursday, March 30. Chefs prepared their meals designed from the food waste research and food survey.