Green Girls Podcast | Episode 8 | Easy ways to Reduce Food Waste

Updated: Oct 4

This episode will seriously shock you! Food waste is a huge issue, but the girls are excited this week because this is actually an issue we can all help to tackle. Join Green Girls this week for some truly eye-opening stats and easy tips that can make a huge difference in reducing our household food waste.

If you liked this episode please leave a review, and connect with us on Instagram with @greengirls.podcast


Plates are bigger:

Infographic food waste at each stage:

Project Drawdown:

Sorted Food:

Veg Me Up:


The Green Hub Flavour Bombs: FIAL, Food Innovation Australia Limited - Food and Agribusiness Growth Centre:

Gov Links

National Food Waste Strategy:

National Waste Policy Action Plan

Stop Food Waste Australia


Tackling Australia’s food waste - DCCEEW

How food waste is managed in Australia - DCCEEW 20+ Food Waste Statistics from Australia to Remember in 2022


Use Code GREENGIRLS15 for 15% off until the end of November.

American use by dates:

Tomorrowland trailer:

Transcript Chloe: [00:00:00] We acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we record this podcast,

Mikaela: Always was, always will Be Aboriginal land.

Hello everybody and welcome to Green Girls.

Chloe: Hello.

Mikaela: Today we are going to be talking about food waste. Why it is a problem and how to avoid it. Avoid it.

Chloe: Avoid it.

Mikaela: Now I can't English. So I thought we should start off with some statistics just so you can gauge what's going on. We've got some worldwide statistics and also some Australian based ones.

Chloe: Oh, brilliant.

Mikaela: So I'll start off here now. It might be a bit too much to say, so just tell me if you've had enough.

Chloe: Okay. Is it, this is all on me cause they, they can't.

Mikaela: Yes, [00:01:00] they cannot. So we've gotta trust you. Okay. So first of all, one third of the world's food is wasted.

Chloe: Fuck.

Mikaela: Yeah, 25% of water used in agriculture is used to grow food that is wasted.

Chloe: Oh, okay.

Mikaela: Okay, so we're starting off real, real good here. Some are a bit depressing. And the worst thing about this too is that considering there's so much food wastage, there's still 660 million people around the world that will face hunger.

Chloe: Yeah. Yeah. That's so devastating.

Mikaela: It's definitely put it into perspective for me, for researching all of this, that we've gotta do something about it and on every level.

In the production stage, in like the growing stage, in the selling, and also in just our household

Chloe: yeah. Yes. It just, it does not add up that there's so much waste when, like you say, there are so many people in need

Mikaela: That's exactly right.

Chloe: Or going hungry.

Mikaela: Yeah. Although [00:02:00] there is enough food for everyone, it's still one in nine people that go to bed on an empty stomach.

Chloe: Oh, wow.

Mikaela: Yeah, it's pretty depressing. But that's just a couple of worldwide statistics. I'm gonna focus mainly on Australia, just cause that's where we are. And I thought it was quite interesting.

Chloe: Awesome. Yeah.

Mikaela: So if you're a financial kind of gal or guy, these might be interesting for you. So food waste actually costs the economy around 36.6 billion each year.

Chloe: Oh,

Mikaela: yeah. Oh, it's a lot.

Chloe: Wow. What's that from?

Mikaela: So this is from the National Food Waste Strategy Feasibility Study, and I have, that is a mouthful, but I have the link for it. I've got all of these links here and a couple of really interesting articles as well, which I'll touch on later on, now there are some very smart and cool people out there that are tackling this issue, so we've got all the sources.

Chloe: Awesome.

Mikaela: I haven't labeled them like a university student. I just plonked them in at the [00:03:00] end there, but,

Chloe: So you don't do a full bibliography whenever you do your research? It's not times new Roman 12 point?

Mikaela: No. I just copy and paste all the links and whack 'em at the bottom of the document.

Chloe: Wow.

Mikaela: I did have originally them in between all the statistics, but then I was like, No, not visually pleasing.

Chloe: Yeah.

Mikaela: None of that I,

Chloe: Bye. Sorry guys. We need aesthetic statistics. Thank you.

Mikaela: We Do. That's correct. Again, if you are into figures and money, there is $2000 or $2,500 waste per household per year on discarded food. So that actually equates to one in five bags of groceries.

Chloe: Oh wow.

Mikaela: Yeah. Oh, what the heck.

Chloe: And with how expensive groceries are right now,, that's gonna be even bigger.

Mikaela: Exactly. Yeah. So that, that statistic is actually from 2018, 2019.

Chloe: Okay.

Mikaela: It's probably even higher now.

Chloe: Yeah, probably. I saw somewhere you might cover this, whoopsie [00:04:00] if you do, But the average size of a plate has increased in size. It's 36% larger now.

Mikaela: That's crazy.

Chloe: And there's some psychological thing about we like to, why we like white space, like blank space in houses in apartments, that sort of thing in work, but in a fridge, on our plate, white space seems to be the enemy. And so we just fill the fridge, fill the plate, and there's all sorts of psychology around why we buy more to fill the space and we eat more because we want that full plate.

Mikaela: Yeah. Wow. That's a whole other episode on its own. Just into the psychology of why.

Chloe: Yeah. Sorry. I'll...

Mikaela: why we eat what we eat. Yeah. That's crazy. I haven't, I didn't see that statistic, but I did find one about like eating out and in the restaurant industry.

Chloe: Oh yeah.

Mikaela: on average people leave 21% of the meal uneaten.

Chloe: Wow.

Mikaela: And that's because of the ridiculous portions of food [00:05:00] being served.

Chloe: Yeah.

Mikaela: So BYO container. Don't be afraid to ask.

Chloe: Oh yeah.

Mikaela: Just pop it in your bag and Yeah, take it home. You paid for it. Obviously there's probably some foods that you might not be able to take, but I just think the sizing of foods at restaurants is, ridiculous.

Chloe: Yeah, it can be huge. What if there's just nothing snack size that you want?

Or it's like a ridiculous price for something that's small. So you're like, Screw this, I'm gonna get my money's worth.

Mikaela: Get something bigger. Yeah.

Chloe: You can't eat it. So Yes, I agree.

Mikaela: Big waste.

Chloe: Bring a container all the time. All the time.


Even if you don't think you're gonna eat , you might.

Mikaela: Yeah, that's right. Just Keep a little, even those little collapsible ones would be a good idea.

Those little foldable.

Chloe: I think I need to get one of them. I've got my little collapsible cup.

Mikaela: Yeah, just keep it flat in your bag and then,

Chloe: Yeah.

Mikaela: Surprise food? Take it home.

Chloe: Have you got some more stats will make me regret asking?

Mikaela: There are so many more. I'm just gonna, I'm gonna save all of these here and I'm just gonna quickly skim [00:06:00] my eye over them and choose a few that I think are like what? So there's one, for example, Australia uses around 2,600 Giga liters. I'm like, what even is that number of water, to grow food that is wasted.

So to put that into perspective, that's equivalent of the volume of water in five Sydney Harbours.

Chloe: Huh. I look, listen, I wish that did put it into perspective. I've got no idea how big Sydney Harbour is.

Mikaela: Huge.

Chloe: Okay.

Mikaela: Huge. Real big.

Yeah. And it's just unfathomable, like how much waste is even just in the production and like transport side of things.

Chloe: Yeah.

Mikaela: So even like the amount of land that is used to grow wasted food, do you wanna have a guess at what amount that is? You are not gonna guess, You're not gonna be able to, I would have zero clue.

Chloe: Are we measuring in sydney Harbors again?

Mikaela: No. We can measure in states. So guess which state in [00:07:00] Australia is the amount of land that's used to grow wasted food?

Chloe: It's not gonna be Tasmania is it?

Mikaela: It's not Tasmania. No.

Chloe: Okay.

Mikaela: You're close in geographical location. Victoria. It is Victoria.

Chloe: Wow.

Mikaela: It's larger than the state of Victoria. What?

Chloe: Oh wow.

Mikaela: Just on the wasted food.

Chloe: No, that's so much land.

Mikaela: So much land.

Chloe: Wow.

Mikaela: Yeah.

Chloe: Wow. How are we feeding anyone if we're wasting that much?

Mikaela: That's what I don't understand. The more I look into this, the more I was like, gobsmacked. I'm gonna hit you with another one. 20 to 40% of fruits and veggies are rejected before they even reach the shelves.

Chloe: Great.

Mikaela: Do you wanna guess why?

Chloe: Cause they're not aesthetic.

Mikaela: Exactly. So there's actually some very strict standards on how our food should be. So yeah, the regulations on it is just [00:08:00] ridiculous. You might have seen in wooliess and stuff, now they have the odd bunch.

Chloe: Yeah. That looks really good.

Mikaela: I think that is a great initiative because we're at, I've got a very good quote here actually. Let me scroll down and find this beautiful, italics quote, which I had a bit of a giggle at, but it also made me sad.

Chloe: Cool. Cool, cool.

Mikaela: So from one of the articles which I will talk about later, someone says, We're dealing with Photoshop tomatos, like we deal with Photoshopped people in magazines. Why do we need to eat pretty food?

Chloe: Wow. Yeah. What is it? I can't, I feel like it was something like ice cream or shaving foam, like to make things look perfect, they would use things that are not the thing.

Mikaela: In Food advertising?

Chloe: Yeah. Like a plastic burger.

Mikaela: My grandpa was actually a photographer and he worked at a advertising agency when my mum was younger and she used to assist him with some of the stuff.

And there was one they did on dog food and I think, I can't remember how many [00:09:00] cans of dog food that they went through to compile it together to make one for the photo. This is, It's crazy. Yeah.

Chloe: Because the food wasn't photogenic enough?

Mikaela: No. Yeah, they pulled all the dog food apart and put bits back together to make it look good for the photo.

Chloe: Wow.

Mikaela: And that's what a lot of them do. For example, you look at a burger on a menu and you go, Yes, this looks so good. And you get it and it's just like sad and floppy.

Chloe: Yes.

Mikaela: It's supposed to have tomato slices all the way around and it's got one tomato slice hidden in the middle.

Chloe: Yeah. I cannot tell you how many holidays I went on, I guess like France and Greece, that sort of thing, being from the UK and like all of the like budget friendly restaurants, just had photos from anywhere. Like you knew, Oh yeah. That was not their sandwich. It was just a club sandwich that existed five years ago.

And like all of the shops, all the cafes had the same club sandwich picture. What? Yeah. Yeah. You just could not tell what you were getting,

Mikaela: Yeah, that's [00:10:00] right.

Chloe: It's the product. It looks good.

Mikaela: So we, I don't know why we're this carrot must be straight or, this tomato must be perfectly round. Like who cares? It's gonna taste the same.

Chloe: It's that saying, isn't it? We eat with our eyes.

Mikaela: Yeah, definitely.

Chloe: We think we can eat more and we want it to look good.

Mikaela: Of course, if you're looking at an apple and you've got like a nice shiny apple that is like a consistent size and shape, and then you look at it one that's a bit wonky and maybe has a couple like grazes on it, of course you're gonna think, Oh yes, I want the shiny one.

Chloe: Yeah. Yeah. I've definitely been guilty of leaving the bruised fruit. I guess I feel like it's gonna taste weird. That bit will taste weird. But then there's things like capsicum, which I know I'm gonna chop up, like it's gonna be in a sauce and I should not care at all what it looks like.

Mikaela: Yeah. I feel like there's ugly veggies and stuff, if you're gonna cook it into something, doesn't matter. Just it'll turn to mush. Turn to tastey mush. [00:11:00]

Chloe: I'm very impressed to see, this should maybe be in the like tip section at the end, but I'm really happy to see there are like the ugly bunch and there are food boxes you can get these days that save food waste.

Mikaela: Yes. Yeah. There's actually a green, I wanna say they have a store in Elwood, in Victoria and somewhere else local where they buy a lot of those foods and fruits and veggies and stuff that don't look great. And he basically said that, your customers have to trust you cause of course they're gonna see these things and think that's not gonna be tasty.

But if this store has a good reputation and they've got a good trust base with their customers, then they can sell those fruits and veggies that look a little bit different.

Chloe: Ah, that's interesting to hear.

Mikaela: Yes, I'm definitely gonna link the article. It's quite a good read.

Chloe: So people still have to go in and pick from what's there. It's not like you get what you're given?

Mikaela: No. So it's still like a green grocer. You can go in and you can pick five apples or two tomatoes or whatever. But it is straight from the farms from most of the [00:12:00] food that's rejected from the big supermarket. It's pretty sad the more you look into it.

And I think a lot of people have that one sad. Like fruit, like pears. Pears are very particular. Or avocados, you're waiting for it to go. You're waiting for it to go, and then it sits on your bench and you look at it and you're like it might be a bit too far gone now. Oh, I'll leave it out there so I can see it and then I'll use it.

And then two days later you're like, And then shit,

Chloe: Uhoh, it's gone.

Mikaela: Can't use it. Or it starts to melt onto the counter.

Chloe: What?

Mikaela: Say for example, you have a fruit bowl, right? Everyone has a fruit bowl.

Chloe: Uhhuh, mine's mainly bananas and avocados.

Mikaela: Oh, there you go. Say you've got a, say you've got a nectarine or like a peach or something and you've got your fruit bowl stacked up. Sometimes, every now and then you might get one from the supermarket that's like a little bit sad. And cause it's at the bottom, you don't realize it's gone. And then it starts to just ooze and then it sticks to everything.

Chloe: I think I [00:13:00] have kept a cucumber in the fridge for so long that it like took on a liquid state.

Mikaela: There you go. That's exactly what I'm talking about. Yeah.

Chloe: It absolutely did. I'm really happy that it was already in like a container.

Mikaela: Yeah. Yeah. They're not nice to clean up, but yeah.

Chloe: Yep. Big shame on me. Just, and I'm sure I'm the one that bought the cucumber, because Tarik is not it's, he just thinks it's like water in vegetable form.

Mikaela: That's the thing too. You're like, you have such great intentions and then when you have too much choice, you forget about things. And Yeah. Then it's too late.

Chloe: Yeah. We've we've flowed quite nicely into like why waste is even happening, because it is absurd that waste is even happening. No one wants to waste food. How did we get here?

Mikaela: No, You paid for it.

Chloe: And, the bizarre thing, one of the four stats that I looked up , this is a US one, but it's basically a wonderful infographic. I'll link it to everyone. And it shows food waste by each stage. And so [00:14:00] 16% of the waste happens at farm level, 2% happens at the manufacturing level.

18% happens at restaurants, 13% happens at a grocery slash distribution stage, like at the supermarkets. 43% of the waste happens in our own homes. It's us doing the most damage. That's the bad news. The good news is that means we can change it.

Mikaela: That is spot on. Spot on.

Chloe: It's positive.

Mikaela: Yay. It's funny that you say that, that was a US stat because I found as well that households in Australia are the biggest producer of food waste and the second biggest is the production stage.

Chloe: Oh, wow.

Mikaela: So I guess we're not so different.

Chloe: Oh yeah, no, another really fun one was, I'm trying to read my own stats. If food waste was its own country it would be the third highest in like producing emissions in the world. So it would be, I see [00:15:00] China and America would be above it. And then food waste as a country would be like the highest.

Mikaela: What on earth? What on earth?

Chloe: Just the waste. Not even like making the food. It's outrageous. I can't believe it.

Mikaela: Oh, I have a figure here for you for the households in Australia, 2.46 million tonnes. We contribute,

Chloe: great.

Mikaela: From households.

Chloe: Yikes. That's going to landfill,

Mikaela: I can't even fathom the numbers, honestly. Like I know they're big numbers, but just, what? No.

Yeah. I think

Chloe: I had something measured in like giga tonnes and like you're joking. What's a giga tonne?

Mikaela: Yeah. I know,

Chloe: you've just introduced Giga to me.

Mikaela: Yeah, Giga is huge.

Chloe: It's so many Sydney harbors I can't even deal.

Mikaela: Yeah. For those of you in Australia and who know I guess the basic areas in Victoria, the MCG, So Australia's food waste would fill the [00:16:00] MCG 10 times each year or,

Chloe: Okay.

Mikaela: It would fill semitrailers stretching from Perth to Sydney.

Chloe: Wow.

Mikaela: Perth to Sydney.

Chloe: Huh?

Mikaela: That is so far.

Chloe: Cool. Great. Australia's a big place. They are not close.

Mikaela: No, they're not close at all.

Chloe: That's not close at all.

Mikaela: Nope. Nope. No.

Chloe: In case anyone, foreign is listening, MCG is Melbourne cricket ground. Wait, which one did you say?

Mikaela: MCG. I don't know, I just know it as MCG.

Chloe: No, you're right. Like, on the train. When I first saw Marvel Stadium, I was like, Oh wow. Superhero Stadium. No,

Mikaela: They just rebranded.

Chloe: It's just where they play regular sport .

Mikaela: Yeah. Yeah. We like to think we're cool.

Chloe: No, it's just got a picture of Iron Man on it.

Did Marvel pay for this whole stadium? I don't understand.

Mikaela: No. It's very odd.

Chloe: I'm sure it's fun for the kids. I dunno.

Mikaela: Yeah. I have so many more stats here that we could go through, but I'm thinking maybe we save them for a little [00:17:00] carousel on Instagram. Some extra additional facts. Cause otherwise we're gonna be here forever.

Chloe: Yeah, no, I think we've got the gist of it. And I want to go on a bit of a positive rant for a little bit. Yes. Listen, we're gonna go on a little rollercoaster here, but it all begins with the Project Drawdown. I know I've spoken about it a little bit to you before, but Project Drawdown is one of those things that gives me so much hope.

I went through a stage of my life where I began the day, like listening to a TED Talk or something on YouTube . And one of the days there was a speaker from Project Drawdown, and it was the first thing that basically gave me real hope, like not misguided blind hope that we could actually make a change.

And so I'll read you the basic idea of what Project Drawdown is.

Mikaela: Hit me.

Chloe: And so it says, Project Drawdown conducts ongoing reviews and analysis of practices and technologies that are able to reduce greenhouse gas concentrations in Earth's atmosphere. And also they must be,

One, currently [00:18:00] available,

Two, growing in scale,

Three financially viable,

Four, able to have a net positive impact and

Five, quantifiable under different scenarios.

Our work shows the world can reach, draw down by mid-century if we make the best use of all existing climate solutions. Certainly more solutions are needed and emerging, but there is no reason or time to wait now is better than new and society is well equipped for transformation today.

And I was just like, Wow. And so that the idea is to draw down on emissions, get to zero. Wow.

Mikaela: It shows that it does make a difference.

Chloe: Yeah. And they've, there's literally that this detailed list. Everyone needs to look at it. It's incredible. It's a very simple list, I think of the 100 top ways that we can decrease our emissions.

Mikaela: Cool.

Chloe: And you know what's number one?

Mikaela: What? Food waste.

Chloe: Food waste. Reducing food waste. Yeah. Yeah.

Mikaela: How did I know?

Chloe: I don't, [00:19:00] Why did I bring this up?

Mikaela: Oh my goodness. It all makes sense.

Chloe: I know. Oh, we've come all the way around and yeah, this is crazy. This is why I heard about giga tonnes. So if we reduce food, waste, their measurements, they're going between 2020 and 2050.

If we reduce our food waste by just 50%, we'll reduce 88 giga tonnes, whatever that means of CO2 emissions. That boggles me. But, so LED lighting, like swapping to LED lighting is lower on this list. That will only save 15 giga tonne.

Mikaela: What was your first figure? 22. Did you say?

Chloe: 88.

Mikaela: Oh, what the hell? I promise I'm listening.

Chloe: Different podcast on the other ear?

Mikaela: But do you know what's funny about that though? There's government initiatives of people like we've had all of our globes changed to LED's.

Chloe: Yeah. I get called up daily at work. Hello? Do you need your lights changed into LED? No one's asking me to save on food waste.

Mikaela: No, I don't think the education is quite there [00:20:00] yet. But like I said, from the solutions, like I've got later on, like touching on what the Australian government's doing about it and it does look like it's in the works. It just, I think is, in progress. So, I think people are a lot more keen on oh, it's free.

You'll replace my globes for free and it's gonna save me money. Of course people are gonna be like, Yes, let's do it. But if they're like, don't eat as much or don't waste your food, people are gonna be like, Don't tell me what to do. I'm gonna buy whatever I want.

Chloe: Yeah. But if someone called them up and listen, they would probably put the phone down, cause you sound like a sleazy marketing scam.

But if someone called me and was like, You will save $2,000 every year from this one simple thing and it's just, don't buy all the food you're gonna waste. People be like, Whoa, what is this? Yeah. It's blowing my mind. Yeah. Wait what pair of it scheme culture are we in? That was last week. What?

Mikaela: Yeah. That's crazy.

Chloe: It's mad. It's so mad. And the fact that yeah, that reducing food waste. No one wants to [00:21:00] waste food. And that's the top way that we can also save the world that we live on. We should all be getting really excited trying to save food waste, not to waste our money on it either.

It's money as well.

Mikaela: It's a win-win.

Chloe: So I have a whole other round, but look, I'll go on that later. I'm feeling excited to get into some ways that we can be helpful.


Do you wanna talk about the government thing? That sounds really cool.

Mikaela: Yeah, I'll just touch on it. So this is actually from the Australian government website.

So, they have actually set a goal to halve our food waste by 2030. And this aligns with the UNs sustainable development goal 12.3 if you wanna look that up, go ahead. But,

Chloe: Cool.

Mikaela: It's just a guideline. So how they're gonna do this though, they have listed that they're gonna provide national guidance and plans for reducing food waste.

They support and encourage state territory and local governments to continue to work on their food waste programs and policies. And they also are conducting[00:22:00] waste reporting. So they're going to consolidate all of the information on waste and recycling from all the states and territories.

So of course we need the statistics there to be able to even, to figure out what we are doing correctly. Yeah. So all of these actions are actually laid out in what's called the National Food Waste Strategy.

Chloe: So is that a big old document that you can actually just, anyone can read online?

Mikaela: Yes, there is a big PDF and I'll have all the links there as well in our show notes. Cause it's very interesting to have a look through.

Chloe: Yeah. Fantastic.

Mikaela: So in December, 2020, the Minister for Environment established Stop Food Waste Australia. This was to support the National Food Waste Strategy and the government has a $4 million investment to establish that.

And there's just so many words, so I'm apologize if you guys are getting confused. So I feel like my brain's getting confused. But the Stop Food Waste Australia implemented the Australian food pact. So what is that? It's [00:23:00] a voluntary agreement that brings together organizations across the food supply chain, which focuses on food waste prevention, food reuse, donation, and food chain transformation.

So some of these businesses that have actually signed up now, which are the inaugural ones, which are the first ones to do are Simplot, which is actually a big Australian company, Woolworths, Coles. Is it Mondelez? Those guys? Compass group,

Chloe: Mondelez, owns Cadburys.

Mikaela: Yeah, there you go. I feel like they all own each other anyway.

There's a few,

Chloe: That's true.

Mikaela: Big brands. So other businesses that can sign up are like primary producers, food manufacturers food, grocery retailers, food service, and businesses involved in food technology. It's definitely a good thing. They're gonna be helping people design and source more sustainable products.

Also helping them develop strategies to make things more [00:24:00] efficient. And raising awareness. And also supporting the donation of surplus food. So there's quite a few good organizations out there. Like for example, Food bank.

Chloe: Oz Harvest.

Mikaela: Yes. Oz Harvest. There's a few. And there's also a couple of independent people.

I found this really cool, from the article that I was talking about. I've actually got it here. Good article to read on how some restaurants and suppliers are tackling the problem. So there's a woman called Natalie sarau, Saru, I'm probably gonna pronounce that incorrectly. Just launched Fork Full.

And it is an online marketplace that allows cafes and restaurants to alert customers to discounted surplus and unsold products that might otherwise be binned. So, she says it's like Airbnb, but instead of looking for a place to stay, you're looking for something to eat in your local area. So you could have a cafe that has some muffins maybe that haven't sold, they're listed on there.

You go online and you browse in your area and you go, Yes, I want those. You get a discounted price and [00:25:00] there's no waste.

Chloe: Brilliant.

Mikaela: So it's pretty

Chloe: That's in Australia?

Mikaela: Yep.

Chloe: Fantastic.

Mikaela: Forkful, F O R K f U L one L.

Chloe: There's another one called Too Good to Go in the UK. Same premise. They have an app and everything. And a cafe at the end of the day is like 'We've still got all of these croisants. Now they're only a pound.' that sort of thing.

Mikaela: I know, like I actually haven't seen it in Australia, but I've seen a lot of videos overseas that are fascinating of people dumpster diving and, I see a lot of them like, doing it for products like seasonal products like candles and stuff like that.

Or the packagings damaged. But I've also seen people do them on food and they're like, all of this food is just in the bin. It's perfectly fine. Give it a wash. It tastes great, It's fine. And I'm like, Why the heck are businesses throwing out dumpster loads of food?

Chloe: Yeah. Crazy. Yeah it is. It's insane.

I think I have heard of one of my friends doing it here, but I don't think it's [00:26:00] allowed.

Mikaela: I don't think it is, I don't think it is allowed at all, but I feel like, you know, it's like hard rubbish, but also it's way Yeah.

Chloe: You're not meant to go through hard rubbish.

Mikaela: Yeah. If it's on the curb, then it's, If I want it, it's mine.

Chloe: It's coming home with me and it's gonna sit on my deck until I decide to do a project. I'm gonna shabby chic it. It'll look great.

Mikaela: Yeah, exactly. Exactly.

Oh, goodness me.

Chloe: Oh, there are some great things in hard rubbish.

Mikaela: Yeah, definitely.

Chloe: Maybe thats a reel we can make,

Mikaela: Oh yes. I will happily go hard rubbish hunting. I don't even care if it's two hours away. I will drive to their suburb and hard rubbish hunt.

Chloe: Nice. What sort of hunting do vegans do?

Mikaela: Oh, I don't even, Yeah, dunno. Count me in regardless.

Chloe: Woo. No, just hard, hard, rubbish hunting. You said hunting didn't you?

Mikaela: Hunting? Yeah.

Chloe: Yeah.

Mikaela: Yeah.

Chloe: Hunting's normally for animals. I said, What hunting to vegans do?

Mikaela: Oh, that totally went over my head. [00:27:00] It's fine.

Chloe: I knew it was awful as I was saying it.

Mikaela: We hunt, with our eyes to give love to new things.

Chloe: That's right. You just, you give them homes.

Mikaela: That was really bad.

Chloe: You see an unloved sofa sitting there in the rain, and you bring it home. .

Mikaela: I've done that.

Chloe: Yes. You know what, that was the saddest thing about how much rain we've had recently. I was thinking about all of those sofas, out in the rain.

Mikaela: So true.

Chloe: And now they're not usable.

Mikaela: Yeah. My dad had this leather couch four years. It's like a slight kind of green and it had started to rip and it was like getting really sad.

And he found one on sale and he got a new couch. And for months we had double couches. Like it was like a three seated couch and then behind it, a three seated couch. And. Finally, he was like, All right, we'll get rid of it, we'll put it out on hard rubbish. And I was adamant that someone was gonna pick it up.

I said, Put it out there. Someone will see it, someone will take it. Like it'll be great. There's a [00:28:00] couple of marks here, but it's, worn, super comfy. So it was out there for a couple days and then I went to leave for work one time and the hard rubbish truck was in front of me and I just see, the jaws.

Like I just see the truck closing, and the couch is just sticking out and it just crunched. And I actually let out like a uhhhh, and I was so sad. I was so emotional. I was like, I've just seen this, this couch get murdered. I said someone was gonna pick it up.

Oh my goodness.

Chloe: You've sent it to its doom.

Mikaela: I felt so bad.

Chloe: Oh, you poor thing.

Mikaela: I can laugh about it now, but at the time I was like, mortified.

Chloe: No, we get, sentimental about sofas

Mikaela: it was like it was reaching out to me being like, You did this.

Chloe: Oh, I have, Yeah. I'll quickly say for one, Yes. I got really sentimental about the sofa at my parents' house.

And they just changed it. One year it was gone. We'd had the same sofa for so long. [00:29:00] And suddenly there was a different one. And yes, fine. It's a good sofa. Whatever. I felt like they should have asked.

Mikaela: Yeah, I know you definitely get attached to things.

Chloe: Yeah. But I have a friend who, yeah, she had a childhood sofa same as me. And their family moved house and I think they were downsizing and so the sofa didn't move with them and it went to this I guess secondhand furniture shop slash antique shop that was like next door opposite to the most grotty pub that we have in town. so not the nicest street, but it's where this furniture shop happens to be.

And it was in that shop for ages and then, my friend's out drinking one night. She's in the Grotty pub.

Mikaela: Her couch?

Chloe: She sits down and she sits down on her couch.

Mikaela: Oh my goodness.

Chloe: And she cannot go to that pub because she knows that her sofa is in there. It's not being well treated. It'll have like beer all over it.

It's gonna be sticky. That I can't bear to just think of it that way. [00:30:00] And I totally get it. I totally get it.

Mikaela: It's crazy.

Chloe: Poor sofas. Sorry. Anyway, this is about food waste.

Mikaela: Is it? Is it really? I thought, it was just a podcast where we talk about random crap and

Chloe: Oh, you're right. Sorry.

Welcome to the Random Crap podcast.

Mikaela: Yes. Lovely.

Chloe: Guava is doing wonderful things right now.

Mikaela: Amazing.

She's formed two blobs or now she's three. Oh, get it, girl. . Sorry. Hi, I'm back.

Yes. Okay. So I think we've covered a lot of statistics and why we need to talk about food waste. Yes. Do you have any solutions that we can do?

Chloe: Mikaela, do I have some tips for you? Yes. I do

Mikaela: send them my way.

Chloe: All right. So we're gonna start at the start of our food journey, and that is before we've even bought food. Tip number one, do not food shop hungry. Oh, don't do it. Never do it. If you could avoid it [00:31:00] avoided at all costs

Mikaela: yes, I can. I can agree that this is a very important tip.

Chloe: Uhhuh, I think this really hit home. If you learn one thing from this, Mikaela.

Mikaela: What?

Chloe: It's not to food shop when you are hungry. Yes. Make sure you've had some good hearty food. And also that probably means you've looked in the fridge recently because,

TIp number two, make a list.

Mikaela: Oh yes.

Chloe: Make a list. Know what it is you want. Because I work at a sign making place. They actually made too much like whiteboard , they made an extra whiteboard basically. And so I took it home. We stuck it on the pantry door and now that's where we write list and it's great.

You can just write on it, rub it off. It's perfect. Have a whiteboard, have a chalkboard piece of paper. Yeah.

Mikaela: Even on your phone, like list. I always make a list. I always shop strategically, like I'll go down the aisles. Jake does not have a list, and it makes me like, it makes me rage. Like the other day I had [00:32:00] just started a list.

And I was getting ready and then we were going down, we sat down the line, but basically going to the burbs. And we were like, Oh, we'll stop at the shops. And I was like, Do you have a list? He's Nah. I'm like, But we can't go without a list. So we're going around and he picks up two heads of broccoli and puts it in the trolley.

I'm like, We have one head of broccoli at home. He's Ah, do we? And I'm like, ?

Yes, we do. I you need a list.

Yeah. Yeah.

Chloe: You need a list.

Mikaela: Cannot shop with out a list.

Chloe: I'll make a list in my head. But if I have a real list, then I feel like it's the boss of me. It's got some sort of authority over my life and my decision making.

And I will stay on track. If it's not just the list in my head. That's, we're probably out of spinach because, Yes, we are usually outta spinach. One time I'll buy spinach and I'll buy all of it. And we'll already have a full container of spinach. And then we'll just go on spinach overload.

Yeah. For a week. Trying to get through the spinach so we don't waste it. So if I just had a list, Chloe. Could have avoided all of that.

Mikaela: So what have we learnt in [00:33:00] today's podcast, Mikaela. Don't shop hungry. Chloe.

Chloe: Have a list. and something that could help with this list number three is to get some meal plans, write some meal plans that will cut down on buying the food that you don't need. It will cut down on impulse buying. It means that you will have set meals and there's actually some great things out there that can help. There's an amazing app that I might buy, It's like a monthly thing. Called Sorted Food. They run a really great YouTube channel.

It's just these four blokes that live in London. I think the meal plans, I think also come with this is how much things cost. Ignore that, cause it'll be in pounds and pence and whatever. But it will give you a kit, so like a week's worth of meals and one shopping list for all of them. So it really cuts down on food waste and it means they'll usually use that same lot of ingredients like say it's a punnet of cherry tomatoes.

You'll use like half for one dish, half for another so that there's no waste involved. And they'll, I think, highlight even when it's like this is a zero waste product, you'll use everything. [00:34:00] The one negative for those like us trying to be more plant based, there isn't like a huge demand on the app yet for vegans.

So there's a few meal kits for vegans, but not everything you can sub things in. And I think there's gonna be heaps more for vegetarians, but as vegan grows, I'm sure they'll introduce, more meal kits and you can get a free month as well. So I'm actually gonna do that and check it out. See how it goes.

Yeah. Yeah. See how many kits there are

Mikaela: even with meal planning. If you don't have something like that to give you the inspiration, I'm sure everyone has those few meals that they know that they always like and all the ingredients in that. So that's an easy way to do it too.

You're like, All right, I know this and this can go in this meal and we love it. It makes this much.

Chloe: True I love things like this because I'm a sucker for Hello Fresh, Marley Spoon, all of them. And Marley Spoon, I liked for a bit because you could get like decent deals on it, and there was an okay amount of vegan options and that really helped me to know a few vegan options.

Coming from eating a lot of meat, I suddenly, like I knew nothing. I couldn't think [00:35:00] of a single meal that didn't contain meat or dairy, and so Marley Spoon helped me through that because I'm not an imaginative cook. The bad thing about Marley Spoon is that it includes like tiny satchets of things that you already have at home.

Yeah. And it'll give you a sachet of 40 grams and then you only use 10 and thank you. I don't even know what this is. I didn't have it before and now it's just gonna sit here and be wasted. So I really didn't like that.

And that's why I do like the idea of this Sorted Food app.

Mikaela: Cause you can do it on your own.

Chloe: You can do it on your own. It gives you a list and it also gives you like video instructions of how to cook.

Mikaela: Oh cool.

Chloe: So you can follow along, do it with you. It even comes with a timer. So if it's like fry X for eight minutes, it will start that eight minute timer and then move to the next step and you can pause it and all this stuff like it.

Mikaela: That is really cool.

Chloe: It looks rely good and so enough raving about it. I'll try it out.

Mikaela: not sponsored,

Chloe: I'll let you know. Not sponsored. Yeah. But they sound really good. And I'll shout out veg me up. Which if you're in [00:36:00] Melbourne get on this because similar to Marely Spoon, it's that sort of meal service.

Where they pick the ingredients for you, give you how to cook it. But veg me up is Melbourne based. It's all like locally sourced food. And it's all vegan.

Mikaela: Woo. Actually think I have heard of them.

Chloe: Small business. Yes. They were at the vegan festival that we went to.

Mikaela: Oh, there you go. That's probably why.

Chloe: Awesome chap that runs it and he's been vegan for gosh, a long time. And has been a chef for even longer.

Mikaela: Oh, that, that's helpful.

Chloe: Yes. Yes indeed. And everything looks really healthy too, which you know, you might not want that. I'm not always healthy. But it's good to know that if you want to be healthy, all of the guest work taken out of it.

Mikaela: Yeah. That is good.

Chloe: Yes. Oh. And unlike things like Marley Spoon, veg me up really focuses on minimizing waste. There's no plastic. That's which, you know what? That can be the next tip. Oh, when you're out grocery shopping, see if you can compare the different foods [00:37:00] that are the same food but without plastic.

The hierarchy in my head, like plastic is the lowest because like plastic, especially hard plastic, you dunno if you can recycle. At least I know in the UK now and in Australia you can soft plastic recycle here it's red cycle. I was so stoked to go to the UK and see that soft plastic recycling was in like the Coles equivalence and stuff now.

Mikaela: Yeah. The mainstream.

Chloe: That's awesome. Yeah. Yeah, it's fantastic. Sorry, I dunno about America. Hopefully you guys have it too.

Mikaela: Hopefully.

Chloe: But hard plastic is a bit iffy, whereas glass, pretty infinitely recyclable. Aluminum definitely like incredibly infinitely recycled and I think. Aluminum takes the least energy to recycle.

But don't trust me on that. You are free to do your own research. Okay? So you've got fresh produce, fresh produce tends to go off fast. The best thing you can do to make sure that it stays fresh for longest is to consider how you store it. I'm not particularly well versed on this, but [00:38:00] like root vegetables, like potatoes, they like to be stored in a cool dry place.

Mikaela: I learnt that by accident.

Chloe: Oh no. What did you do?

Mikaela: I forgot about a bag of potatoes. Under the kitchen counter, tucked away in the open, like just around other side. Normally I put them, ehh, a little bit of sun. Normally I put them in the bottom of the pantry in the cupboard, but there was heaps of shit in there and I just put it down and forgot about it.

And yeah, they went gross.

Chloe: Great. Started little family did they?

Mikaela: Yeah. Didn't eat them. They unfortunately had to go.

Oh, sad things. but lesson learnt. store your potatoes correctly.


Chloe: A lot of veggies like to stay hydrated. For example, if it's like Bok choy, something's got a root use of merge that root in water, whereas things like carrots and I think cucumbers, you can put them fully in water and they just love it.

They stay fresh ages when you can do that.

Mikaela: Sorry. Cut you off. I've [00:39:00] even seen, if you have a sad bit of broccoli or carrots sometimes can go a bit like floppy, if they're really old, even submerge them in water in the fridge for a couple hours and they spring back and then you can cook them, eat 'em that day.

Chloe: Ooh, I'll have to try that. Have you tried that yet? That's pretty cool.

Mikaela: Yeah. Broccoli and carrots have worked.

Chloe: No way.

Mikaela: It's magic.

Chloe: It is magic. There's actually an amazing thing I've found called the Swag, which is basically a revolutionary way to store your fresh produce. And the swag is this 100% cotton canvas bag, cotton canvas is canvas cotton?

Mikaela: I believe so. Ah, now I am now on pressure and I'm like, Wait, no, I don't know.

Cotton canvas? Yeah.

Chloe: I've never been asked this question before. It's a cotton bag that has three layers to it, and each of the layers basically serves a different purpose. It's got an outer layer. Which is meant to, protect, it allows the produce to take in oxygen as needed cause it's cotton. It's of course more breathable. There's a central layer which is [00:40:00] thicker and that will hold the bulk of the water that's added. And there's an inner layer, which they call the balancing layer, which allows your produce to breathe and hydrate at its own pace, which sounds just really cool considering it's just a cotton back.

But there's a whole science to it that I do not understand, but they look really good. They come in all these different sizes, so it's perfect for all the different sorts of fruits and veggies. And they actually say that it means that your fruit and veggie will last an extra two weeks when they're in these bags.

And I've I've seen it with my own eyes, looks brilliant. I'm excited to get my hands in these personally. I actually emailed them the other day because I knew that I wanted to mention them and ta da. We have a 15% discount code. To share with our followers here on Green Girls. So guys, until the end of November, if you want to try out the swag bags, which I will absolutely be doing soon, use code GreenGirls15, that's and can get 15% off.

Mikaela: Amazing. So its basically a little envelope [00:41:00] made out of fabric that you put your veggies in that makes it last longer. Cause I know a lot of my veggies go real sad. So I think I definitely need to get some of these.

Chloe: They do. I have some very sad carrots right now.

They'd benefit from the swag. Love that name as well. Have fun guys. Let us know what veggies you get. And if they last any longer, people house plants, veggies. We just need a bit of water. Stay hydrated people , this is your reminder. My glass is empty, but

Mikaela: yes, mine is not in this room.

Chloe: be better than us.

good. Okay. If you find that some things look like they're about to go off, it's time to try and make a sauce from them before they go properly all the way off. And you don't need to use that sauce straight away. You can make it now and freeze it. There's a great tip that I saw from Kira who runs the Green Hub, and she'll do this all the time if something's about to go off, and she'll even do it with leftover, fresh herbs and she'll chop up those herbs, mix them with some other things, blend them, and then stick them in like ice cube trays.

Mikaela: Ooh. [00:42:00] Yeah, that's a great idea.

Chloe: Yeah. And she calls 'em flavor bombs and you can just pop out a few of these cubes. And like you have a meal basically ad past or whatever you want to before you got a meal. It's like the easiest thing.

Mikaela: That's a great idea, also like stuff chopping up fresh food, like every time when you can just pop out a flavor bomb, like just doing bulk at once and just be like bam.

Chloe: I know. Sounds so badass. Flavor bomb.

Mikaela: That's really smart.

Chloe: So thank you for that one, Kira.

Yes. Do you have any?

Mikaela: No. I've got a couple like, Eat your leftovers or I think we've discussed this before. Make a garbage bowl. You know how you've got all those random bits and bobs, like put it all together?

Sometimes you can come up with some really interesting things. Sometimes maybe it's not your best meal, but it's still fulfilling. But it's fun. It tests your creativity and you get to make sure that you use all the food. Yeah. So I've seen a few of them. I'm pretty sure like Jenna Marbles used to do something like that and of course [00:43:00] Christine, Simply Naillogical also talks about garbage bowls. She has 'em all the time.

Chloe: Oh, no way. Yeah, me and Tarik, I think Tarik's mom called them like BITA or Bitso, something like that. So like a little bit of everything. Sometimes we'll have that, We're like, You know what, we've got like a quarter of this, a quarter of that half of this.

Mikaela: Yeah. Put it all together

Chloe: and I'm like, screw it. That makes up a meal. Yeah. It doesn't have to make sense.

Mikaela: No, it's right. Food is good.

Chloe: We've absolutely done that and as a challenge, we will, I think I've said certain times before now we'll have a pantry clear out. Except for spinach, kale, whatever.

We are not buying anything new, anything fresh. We're going through this pantry, we're eating everything. That was especially true when we had mice. Because nothing was safe. It had to go in a container or be eaten straight away or the mouse got it. Us or the mouse. Yeah. No, this mouse, chewed through the oat milk. And flooded the pantry.

Mikaela: No. What a dick . [00:44:00]

Chloe: I know and we're here like, Oh, we don't wanna hurt the mouse, but we really need the mouse to leave.

Mikaela: Oh no.

Chloe: So we moved the milk more of the story.

Mikaela: Yeah. Moved to the food away and the mouse disappeared.

Chloe: I know. Tupperware, best friend.

Mikaela: Yes. Yes, definitely. I do have one more, which I think I hope people know, but I think a lot of people might not be sure, is knowing the difference between Best Before and used by, so best before dates, they give you an idea of how long food will last before they lose quality.

So most products last beyond their best before date if they're stored properly. So you can still eat it, food, however that are marked with a used by date must be consumed before or on that date because they can become unsafe. So if you have something that has best before and it's today, you can still probably eat it tomorrow, the next day, obviously use your judgment. I think a lot of things that do have the best before won't cause you many problems. It's [00:45:00] more so the, cheeses and milks and things that have the used bys.

Chloe: Yes. Not to scare you.

Mikaela: Yes.

Chloe: Won't even scare you. Might anger you. This is very much rageful episode. Ah, yeah. So America and Australia are pretty much the same on this as well.

Twinsies. Where there's no like regulation to do with it. It's not like a board of people in an office or like scientists that are like, it goes off after this many days. Milk say after pasteurization is something like 21 days is when it technically should no longer be consumed.

Something like that , But it's the food manufacturer that actually, that chooses the real date that goes on it. And there was, I've forgotten where it was in America, but the example was like they put it as 11 or 12 days. As the best before when it could've be 21.

Mikaela: Ah, why?

Chloe: And I'm sure that makes so many people, would've been me included I'm like, because milk, when it goes off, right? It smells rank, and I [00:46:00] don't even want to have that option, and so I won't sniff it. I'm like, Okay, that's just going straight in the bin. It says 12 days. It's been 12 days, it's going in the bin. I know. I would've absolutely been that person and would've bought so much milk. Wasted so much milk.

Mikaela: I wonder If they do it as like a marketing tactic because then you have to consume it within those 11, 12 days and then you're like, Oh, I need it again.

So then you're buying it twice when you could've only bought it once.

Chloe: Yeah. I really wouldn't put it past them and I also, I heard that it can also be, they like the idea that they want you to, have the food, consume the food when it's its best. Like they don't want it to go a bit saggy Or look a bit weird.

And so that those like amount of days can literally be, it starts to not look its best after this time. And they're like, You shouldn't buy it. It's gone. Don't even think about it.

Mikaela: I actually have one more and I can't remember where I read it. But I do it all the time now. And there was some statistic about bananas in the supermarket, Single [00:47:00] bananas.

Apparently are a big waste because nobody buys them. You always pick up a bunch. So now I always go around and pick up the single bananas. I buy all single bananas. So they get to come home with me and have friends, and they also don't get wasted.

Chloe: That's so cute. Okay, Challenge guys. Buy the single bananas and tag us.

Seriously @Green Girls Podcast on Instagram, you and your single bananas.

Mikaela: I was just about to say, send me your banana photos, but please don't.

Chloe: Don't interpret that any weird way.

Mikaela: Only send me the fruit photos, please.

Chloe: Absolutely. Yeah. Peels on.

Mikaela: Oh, peels on. We don't want any unpeeled, bananas,

What happened to us? Where did this episode go?

Chloe: Sorry. Oh, on a very unrelated note though, I'm really, I find it really cute that all these supermarkets offer [00:48:00] kids free fruit.

Mikaela: Yes.

Chloe: Isn't that lovely?

Mikaela: Yeah, that is very nice.

Chloe: Yeah. I hope that saves on waste a little bit too.

Mikaela: Hopefully. I also feel like kids would like to buy like the odd bunch, like the funky looking stuff.

Chloe: They put like almost like cartoon carrots.

Mikaela: Yeah, they do, why is that appeal to me? I'm not a child. Just on the inside.

Chloe: We don't grow up really .

Mikaela: No.