Storage & Cooking

BBQ without food waste

Many people are keeping a close eye on the weather forecast at this time of the year.  Whether it’s First Holy Communions or Confirmations, birthdays or bank holiday weekends, that first BBQ of the season is something so many of us look forward to.

While our mouths water at the thought of smoky BBQ smells, let’s not forget to plan ahead for a BBQ without food waste. Here are some things to consider:

  • Ask guests to RSVP. It’s always a good idea to get a headcount prior to prepping for an event so that you can factor in dietary requirements and scale.
  • Tell your guests that you intend to prepare food and let them know that you are doing your best to minimise waste. Your friends and family might be incredibly supportive!
  • Avoid over-ordering and/or over-preparing food. Guests nearly always arrive with more food so there’s very little risk of running out.
  • If you’re unsure as to how much to scale up, use the Save the Food guestimator to estimate how much food you will need to prepare.
  • Source local foods that are in season. Find out more about the reasons to eat with the seasons.
  • Salads are frequently a big source of waste. Try these salad dressing recipes from Donal Skehan to ensure that your salads taste too good to waste.
  • Create innovative nibbles using overlooked foodstuffs. Try a delicious salad using the stalks of broccoli or flavour table water with pineapple or strawberry tops. Your savvy recipes might inspire your guests to consider food in a whole new way.
  • Take pride in your home produce, even if it’s just some herbs and salad leaves.
  • Serve food from bowls at the centre of the table and keep any dishes leftover for use the following day.
  • Freeze any unused burger buns while they’re fresh. They can be toasted directly from the freezer at a later date.
  • Make doggy bags for your guests. Your guests will be delighted to come away with something delicious to take home.
  • Ashes should not be added to compost systems because they fill in air spaces and can suffocate your compost. More importantly, they are alkaline in nature and would upset the near neutral pH balance of the compost. However, ashes contain potassium, a valuable plant nutrient, and can be directly added to acidic soils at planting time to help increase fertility. Wood and peat ash are safest. Coal ashes may contain heavy metals and other toxins so they should not be used for gardening.
  • Compost all food scraps or put them in a brown bin.
  • Enjoy leftovers the following day!

Photo by @danielcgold via Unsplash

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