Cook And Order Just Enough
By Save Food Cut Waste
Gosia Klimowicz is a PR consultant by profession, and home cook by passion. Cooking helps her to wind up after a stressful day and empowers her as an individual as she can make her own healthy decisions, control the amount of food she eats and track spending more efficiently.
Gosia believes that cooking the right portions means that you not only cut waste but it also makes your food tastier, as you are using just the right amount of ingredients and can serve the food fresh. It can help you to save a lot of money as well. She is influenced by her mum who always taught her that one should never waste food. She lives by this rule and it upsets her a lot when people throw away food because they order too much or don’t store it properly.
She shares that:
My mum usually cooks meals using organic and home-grown ingredients and makes sure the portions were just right for everyone.There are hardly any leftovers even though she rarely freezes the food for later, being an ‘eat everything fresh’ advocate. I try to follow her style of cooking while adjusting some measures – I cook for one or two people now, not for a whole family.
I hardly use any measuring tools when I cook the food I know well. If I cook something new, perhaps trying a new cuisine, I look up the recipes and measures on trusted blogs rather than culinary magazines. They tend to be more accurate and give more useful tips than the commercial publications. I also enjoy watching culinary programmes such as MasterChef Australia, where the professional chefs share a lot of tips on how to prepare, portion and store food.
I also make sure that the food I cook lasts me for a few meals instead of just one. It saves a lot of time and money. I cool it down and portion before I store it in the fridge in plastic containers or small bowls. I also use a weighting scale and measuring cups when I need to be very specific with the amount of ingredients I use.
Choose the right food portions and cook just enough food. Also order just enough food, thus avoiding food waste and saving money.
Choosing the Right Food Portions
When you cook more than you can finish eating, you are generating food waste and wasting money! If you’re not sure how much food to cook for the number of people you are serving, you may wish to estimate the right amount of food portions or servings by referring to the Healthy Diet Pyramid.
The Health Promotion Board (HPB) recommends using the Healthy Diet Pyramid (for adult Singaporeans from 18 to 69 years old) as a guide to help you plan a healthy diet and choose what and how much to eat each day.
The recommended servings for children from 6 months to 18 years old is different and can be found here.
You can use the serving guidelines for the different food groups to help you choose how much to cook. Here’s some examples of what one serving means:
Food Portion Planner
You may also wish to estimate the right amount of food portions for a normal day or for parties, by using the food portion planner from Love Food Hate Waste in the UK. Note that the portion size may be more suitable for a Western diet.
Eating at Restaurants
The food portions at some restaurants tend to be large and some food would be wasted if yourself or your group can’t finish them. Go through the menu carefully, or check with the waiter on the food portion or number of dishes recommended for your group before you place your order.
Order just enough for your group, as you can always order more food later if you find that the group still wants more. If there’s any food leftover, you may wish to ask the waiter to bag it up for consumption back home.
Eating at Buffets
If you intend to pile your plate full with food at all-you-can-eat buffets, think twice. Take small food portions from the buffet line each time and finish your food before going for more rounds. This would help to reduce the food wastage when you can’t finish the food on your plate or take too much.
Gatherings at Home
If you’re having a gathering or party at home, remember to cook or order just enough food. Confirm the number of attendees before you start cooking or ordering catered food.
You may wish to cater food for 10 to 20% less people than expected as some people might not turn up and since most people are more interested in the social interaction than spending time eating.
If there’s any food leftover, you may wish to store it properly for consumption later or ask your friends to bag it up for consumption back home.
Start today to choose the right food portions and cook just enough food. Also order just enough food, thus avoiding food waste and saving money.
Interview credit: Gosia Klimowicz
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