The Food Waste Challenge

Do you love food, but hate wasting it? Want to know how to make delicious, healthy and sustainable food and reduce how much you waste? Then read on..

The Eastern Suburbs Food Waste Challenge was held over two sessions in Centennial Parklands, if you missed them don't worry all the juicy information is here..


The Challenge - Part 1

During the first workshop we heard from chef Kate Walsh, an experienced food preserver Kate demonstrated just how easy it is to use leftover fruits and vegetables rather than letting them perish in our veggie crispers..


Kate’s top 5 Kitchen Tips:

1. Hit the farmers markets or Flemington for bulk in season fruit and vegetables. This way you are buying what is fresh, seasonal and plentiful 

2. Freeze food using ice cube trays for portion control. Be sure to check first if you can freeze it. Here are some examples. 

  • homemade stock
  • freeze blanched spinach, beans, corn, peas
  • pumpkin puree, 
  • herbs such as basil
  • rice 
  • bananas, berries
  • pesto
  • breadcrumbs
  • milk
  • butter

3. Have an airtight container in the fridge for end bits (e.g. small pieces of cheese such as parmesan rinds).

4. Prepare for the week

  • cook a chicken to make stock and poached chicken ready for lunches
  • cook the vegetables e.g. roasted cauliflower, pumpkin, make the mash potatoes, steam the spinach
  • rinse the salad leaves and herbs and put into the crisper

5. Keep a refrigerator pickle jar.  Using a basic brine, keep a jar in the fridge for left over fresh vegetables. 


Sit back and watch..

 Yes we filmed it and posted on YouTube, so you can refer back to any of Kate's tips, advice and recipes anytime you like.


Workshop 1 Overview (4min)



The Challenge - Part 2


Local artisan chef Edwina Blush demonstrated cooking with leftovers, including food groups, healthy tips and the staples you should have to cook ‘on-the-go’.  We also uncovered the myths and facts about sustainable food - how far it travels, seasonality and how to find local healthy and sustainable produce with Sandi Middleton.

Sit back and watch..

 We also filmed it and posted on YouTube, so you can refer back or watch it if you missed out


Workshop 2 Portion control and sustainable food interview (3mins)


Tips for buying less: 

Recipe sharing, menu planning, shopping lists and more

A Waste Avoidance Study (OEH) commissioned in 2009 revealed that one of the main reasons people waste food is that they buy too much.  The Challenge workshop took people through a process of menu planning and sharing ideas for developing shopping lists and activities such as regular stocktakes of fridge, cupboard and freezer and not shopping when hungry.  For more tips on how to avoid buying too much food download our menu planner below.

One of the most exciting parts of the workshop was the recipe sharing activity, where people wrote down and shared their favourite ‘go to’ recipes for the week.  Recipes varied from eggplant dip to Roast Pork with Fennel, but nearly every person had a signature dish that they cooked nearly every week.  Those recipes coming soon!