Cookbook to cut waste

Waipa’s Rangi Paraha and her 10-year old daughter Hinerangi. They’ve trialled Easy Choice Family Kai and give it the thumbs up.

Waipa District Council has jumped on board with a national initiative to reduce food waste going to landfill.

In Waipa around 26 per cent of what’s in household rubbish bags is food scraps.  Those bags – and the food –  ends up being dumped.

Council’s waste minimisation officer Sally Fraser said given the cost of food, people were literally “throwing money away”.  And because of waste collection costs people were being hit twice.

“With just a bit of planning we can reduce the amount of food we buy. That cuts back on want we don’t eat and what eventually gets thrown out. That saves waste going to landfill and can make a big difference to household budgets.”
This week Waipa joined other councils and the national LoveFoodHateWaste organisation in launching a seasonal cookbook – Easy Choice Family Kai – which provides a month’s worth of non-waste recipes on a budget.  Each week’s ingredients cost around $60 for a family of six and all recipes are nutritionally balanced with plenty of healthy ingredients.

Council helped fund the cookbook through the waste levy funding it receives from the Ministry for the Environment, and that support means the cookbook can be downloaded free from Waipa’s website with limited free hard copies also available from council offices.  When LoveFoodHateWaste launched its autumn edition in April this year, the cookbook was downloaded more than 18,000 times.

Already Waipa community health worker Rangi Paraha has trialled the cookbook and says it works.

“Yes, the recipes did feed the whānau. The shopping list is very accurate, with no food waste, which is what we were aiming for.  The meals were really nice and it’s really affordable, too.”

Sally said if the cookbooks proves popular, Waipa will look at supporting other seasonal editions.

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