Reducing Food Waste

Is it just me, or are many of you also thinking more about the quantities of food we need to eat and in particular, reducing wastage?  It has been brought to my mind not only from my own family perspective but also in partnering with nursery schools who have the tricky task of feeding children during the lockdown whilst not being certain of daily child numbers.  Nurseries have definitely been tested during this time, particularly when staff turnout is unpredictable. Food provision (cooking from scratch!) may land at the feet of either an inexperienced or unwilling staff member or even one that has too many other tasks to manage without having to cook for a group of hungry children!

Cooking from scratch and then freezing the food, leaving the option of heating it later in the quantities needed, is really an excellent and efficient way of utilising the food and also importantly, avoiding waste.  Freezing food has always been an option, and I wonder whether the benefits of freezing have been lost in the past but is now being seen as a solution for many people and organisations.

I must admit that it does take some doing to convince me to change my mind on matters I think I know something about.  One thing that does work for me however is seeing published research on a topic with scientifically backed-up and proven results.  The benefits of freezing food is something we’re passionately interested in of course at Free Range Kids and I thought I would share some interesting quick facts on this topic:

  • Clarence Birdseye credited the Inuit in the early 1920’s with teaching him how to freeze fish. Birdseye discovered that fish frozen almost instantly tasted fresh when thawed
  • Since then, science has revealed a number of interesting discoveries such as the fact that Vitamin C is higher in frozen corn, green beans and blueberries (amongst others) than in their fresh equivalents
  • Researchers have also found that levels of fibre and minerals such as magnesium, calcium, iron and zinc are the same in frozen and fresh forms of broccoli, spinach, carrots, peas and strawberries, amongst others

All in all, there are many benefits of freezing food.  We’ve seen the advantages of this played out across a variety of nurseries with access to good wholesome and nutritious frozen meals, where any staff member can pop a meal into the oven and then serve it to the children with the peace of mind knowing they are serving great food.  The additional advantage is that only food that is required needs to be re-heated and so wastage is avoided.  Even last minute changes in numbers of children eating can be accommodated with different size frozen meal portions.

I’m really enjoying having a bit of extra time to cook meals from scratch and also particularly enjoying pulling out those meals from the freezer on the days I really don’t feel like cooking.  Bliss!