From The Straits Times    |

According to foodies Sarah Benjamin Huang, 30, and Charlotte Mei de Drouas, 26, home is where it’s at…if you want to reduce food wastage.

It starts with your leftovers.

Sarah has a food blog filled with recipes (Kitchen Hoarder) and was a host on the Asian Food Channel in 2016. Charlotte, on the other hand, began her journey with food and nutrition at university, and is now a nutritionist and also a television host. Their top tip for reducing food wastage: Buy less.

Charlotte recommends checking your fridge before making a grocery run: “When I go to the supermarket, I already know what I’m going to get. I also look out for stuff with the least amount of packaging and use reusable bags for my fruits and vegetables.”

Sarah says that food wastage is “a cultural problem, because we love seeing so much food on the table. Now, I go grocery shopping once every two to three days because I don’t want to buy so much food in one go.”

But that’s not all. Not knowing how to store and reuse leftovers is the main reason why people don’t bother. To Sarah and Charlotte, however, leftovers are meal-prep gold.

Last year, Sarah partnered with Mission Foods for its “Fold Over Your Leftovers” campaign to encourage Singaporeans to repurpose leftovers.

Because she’s seen the way food is wasted behind the scenes on cooking shows, Sarah constantly looks for clever ways to reuse leftovers. “You can put day old fish in a wrap, or it can be fried, baked or grilled.

Or shred it and throw in some assam belacan, with chopped mango for a hint of sweetness. Leftover chicken curry can be reduced into a thick gravy – cook in a pan over medium high heat for 5-10min – and it tastes great in a wrap. Don’t forget to add grated cheese.”

Likewise, Charlotte suggests cooking certain food items to keep them fresh. “For food like chicken, cooking the meat as soon as possible helps preserve texture and freshness.

While some leftovers are lower in nutrition, you can still eat them; fibre will be present in vegetables and fruits even if the vitamins are gone.” The nutritionist has a habit of keeping every bit of her leftovers. “Even if it’s just a bit of rice, vegetable or meat, I’ll keep it. It’s not that hard – put the food in an airtight storage container and pop it in the fridge. I’ll usually make an omelette out of my leftovers or refry them with something else the next day.”

So, no more excuses…leftover?

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