As the country prepares for an outdoor summer of picnics and barbeques, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched a new campaign to encourage people to reduce their food waste, highlighting simple food storage steps to make their fresh food last longer.
Findings from a 2020 EPA survey on food waste attitudes showed that around 40 per cent of Irish people say they waste a lot of fruit and vegetables, and would like to make their fresh food last longer.
Fresh fruit, vegetables and salads are Irish summer favourites – but also the foods we waste the most.
Properly storing fresh fruit and vegetables can help both the environment and your budget, according to Mary Frances Rochford, EPA Programme Manager.
“We are calling on everyone to support and share our Stretch Out and Save campaign on social media, and take a simple action to stop food waste. Irish households produce over 250,000 tonnes of food waste per year, at a cost of €700 per household.
“In addition, wasted food is a significant contributor to climate change – responsible for 8 to 10 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
“Cutting food waste reduces greenhouse gas emissions and also provides real savings for householders.”
Simple tips include: store potatoes in a dry, dark place; keep tomatoes in the open air; store carrots loose in the bottom drawer of the fridge; and keep strawberries in the fridge with their green tops on.
The EPA’s website has some great resources to support their Stretch Out and Save campaign and highlights the variety of ways in which different foods should be stored.