For more than 1 in 3 Flemish people (35%) food ends up in the bin every week, for more than 11% it is even several times a week. Vegetables (45%) mainly find their way into the bin, followed by fruit (40%) and fish and meat products (32%). According to 1 in 3 Flemish people, this mainly happens because the food no longer looks fresh enough. In addition, an exceeded best-before date (36%) and forgetting purchased food (22%) also play a role.
Food waste does not leave the Flemings untouched
“Combating food waste starts with yourself”, believe more than 9 out of 10 Flemish people (93%). More than half (52%) say they could do more to reduce food waste for various reasons. For example, more than 7 out of 10 Flemish people (72%) state that they want to save money, but also want to fight food shortages (46%) and overproduction (39%). More than 8 out of 10 Flemish people (86%) are therefore aware of the negative impact of food waste on the environment. 82% feel guilty when throwing away food.
This is how the Flemish think they can get rid of food waste
Despite the great feeling of guilt, the vast majority (81%) believe that they know what actions they can take as individuals to reduce food waste. 40% indicate that planning groceries or making a shopping list can be a solution. In addition, the use of a storage guide (23%) and apps that offer surpluses (16%) are mentioned as possible tools to get rid of waste.
For those who cook without a meal box or weighed recipe, it is not always easy to estimate the amount of the ingredients. Further research from HelloFresh shows that Belgian households that cook with a meal box waste 22% less food than when they shop and cook themselves.
Almost 1 in 3 Flemish people have a rest day every week
Those who do not use well-balanced recipes or a meal box should consider in advance how much of a particular product they will use and what they can use the other leftovers for. 4 out of 10 Flemish people (41%) freeze their leftovers. 36% say they make new meals with leftovers. Finally, 1 in 3 (34%) state that they plan “rest days”, with 28% of Flemings doing this on a weekly basis.
How do you extend the shelf life of food?
You don’t have to sit and watch your cauliflower, box of chocolates or potatoes slowly wither away. If you organize your kitchen smartly, your food will last longer. Also remember that you do not need to store all products in the fridge. These ingredients are best stored in a cool storage room: avocado, banana, melon, bread, onion, cucumber, berries, citrus fruits, potatoes, pineapple, eggplant, basil, zucchini, garlic, bell pepper and pumpkin.
In addition, each food product also has its own place in your fridge:
The temperature is highest at the top and in the door of the fridge, so these parts are perfect for dairy products (yoghurt, cheese), sauces, butter, jam, drinks and eggs.
In the middle, the temperature is slightly lower. Here you can store ready-made food or ready meals, charcuterie, prepared meat, ready meals, salads and cakes.
The shelf above the crisp drawer is suitable for fish, poultry or raw meat, best in closed storage containers.
And the vegetable drawer at the bottom, which of course helps to store your fruit and vegetables.