Did you know that every year around 17% of the world’s food goes to the rubbish bin after leaving the factory? Exactly! We all need to learn more about the products we consume regularly and clever tips to preserve them and extend shelf life.
On the 29th of September each year, we celebrate the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste. This day calls us all for a reflection on our consumer habits and invites us to be smarter about the way we manage our food, understanding more about the shelf-life concepts of each product.
But there are more life events that are pushing consumers to be smarter in managing their food, like the constant rising of cost of living, as well as many food chain disruptions caused by global instability and environmental matters.
Bread and bakery products are amongst the ones with shorter shelf-life and are under intense pressure, as consumers are very demanding when it comes to taste experience, texture, and freshness of the bakery products. We understand that nothing beats the awesomeness of a crusty slice of a freshly baked bread, but here are a few tips and tricks to help reduce wasting bread. See below.
How to avoid mould in sliced bread?
Very often, when reaching the last slices of a bread loaf, we find the typical green spots with mould. Although there are many fungi that we can eat, mould is not one of them. Mould spores can be harmful for your health, and we should avoid them.
Mould needs warm air and humidity to develop, so tackling those issues in storage helps prolong the bread life. Keeping bread inside the wrapper increases the chances of growing mould so do not close the wrapper to allow the humidity to come out.
Bread boxes are designed to allow aeration, but traditional fabric bread bags can also be used to store your bread without humidity. Just make sure to keep those away from heat sources and locate in the cooler areas of the kitchen.
What types of bread resist more to mould?
There are breads that resist longer to mould development due to their recipe. A bread with natural acidity, like sourdough, should last longer without the green spots as the higher acidity delays the formation of mould.
How to freeze bread to keep it fresh?
Another straightforward way to extend bread life is by freezing it. Sliced bread can be frozen and later go straight to the toaster from frozen. This allows you to get better deals in buying a larger loaf and avoiding waste later. The leftover portion of that loaf can be frozen, ideally soon after it was bought or made, so that the bread can keep the fresh taste.
Other types of bread like finger buns, rolls, and brioche buns can also be frozen and later defrosted, ready to eat. This website How To Defrost Bread – 8 Ways to defrost The Bread contains many tips on how to revive bread rolls after a period in frozen storage.
How to dry bread to produce breadcrumbs?
A clever use for stale bread is to convert it into breadcrumbs. There are many recipes that can use breadcrumbs, and you can even make your own breadcrumb blends by adding some spices.
To prepare the bread for breadcrumbs, break the remaining bread into small chunks and leave them in a basket, covered with a thin kitchen towel to allow the air to dry the bread. Turn the chunks over often so they dry uniformly.
Once the bread is dried, use a blender to blast the bread chunks into breadcrumbs. Sieve and store them to use on recipes such as a Homemade chicken kiev.
Find recipes to use stale bread
If making breadcrumbs is too much of a hassle, stale bread can have a second chance at being included in recipes. Be creative and try to make at-home simple recipes like bruschetta, bread and butter pudding, croutons to top up salads, and many other ideas like the ones that can be found at Stale bread recipes – BBC Food. Be smart and give bread a chance!
Other ideas to stop wasting bread and other food wastage
We have shared ideas to avoid bread wastage but there are many other ways to avoid food waste and to share unwanted food. We’ve all had a time when we bought a multi-pack of crisps with mixed flavours because it was cheaper, but there was a flavour we disliked, or when kids changed their taste overnight, but you still kept some stock of their favourite snacks. This surplus does not need to go in the bin.
There are numerous projects fighting food waste at a local level. The Community Fridge managed by the Moving Forward project, a charity local to our business, helps businesses and residents to share their surplus items and avoid food waste. With a quick search on social media, you will be able to locate similar projects around your location.
Another idea to avoid waste and save some money is using an app like Too Good To Go. By installing this easy-to-use app, you have access to many local deals offered by shops and supermarkets, at heavily discounted prices.
Share the knowledge to fight food loss!
Although there are so many community projects, apps, tips, and ideas around to avoid food waste, there are still a vast number of consumers that are not aware of all these concepts. So, the most important action for all of us to take is to raise awareness about these issues and their many solutions to fight the food loss and wastage. By quickly sharing on social media, you are increasing the reach of those projects, sharing useful tips and recipes, and helping fight food waste.