With more than 10 million tonnes of food going to waste each year in South Africa, reducing household food waste is crucial. Load shedding, however, has made the task that much harder. Many find themselves having to throw away products that’s gone bad – whether it’s due to a lack of refrigeration or people not being able to cook the meal that they planned due to long power outages. It’s evident that in order for South Africans to get a bang for their back not having to chuck food away, changes need to be made in how we shop and store food.
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Maretha Vermaak is a registered dietitian at Rediscover Dairy. She explains that ‘as one of the five core food groups, dairy plays a key role in a balanced diet. Heat treatments make milk and other dairy products safe for consumption for longer periods of time. Appropriate heat treatment limits harmful bacteria that may be present in food and ensures that food is safe to consume.’
She goes on to say, ‘For families who are finding that milk products are increasingly spoiling because of load shedding disruptions, UHT dairy products (box milk, for example) are a smart choice that helps you to reduce food waste and save money.’
- Rediscover Dairy has also gathered more ways to reduce food waste from other South Africans trying to reduce the impact of load shedding on food products (and food budgets, too).
- Divide perishables (butter, hard cheeses, etc.) into smaller bits and keep only what you need for the day in your fridge. Freeze the rest until it is needed.
- Keep your fridge door closed during load shedding to keep the temperature stable.
- Move any meat, dairy, meat and leftovers to the top shelf of your freezer during load shedding.
- Use yoghurt, cream and sour milk for cooking or baking.
- Donate food that you know you won’t be able to use before its use-by-date.
- Get a cooler box with ice bricks ready to store your perishable foods such as cheese, milk and yoghurt in during load shedding.
For more advice and inspiration, visit www.rediscoverdairy.co.za.
Feature image: Supplied