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Residents’ tips on avoiding food wastage

From freezing milk to using up lemon peel for spicing tea, food conservation is easy, say residents

Dubai Residents share their ideas, tips and tricks on making food last longer and not going to waste.

Yasir Faisal, from Pakistan, PRO in consulting and engineering company

“I live alone, so I don’t cook. I eat out at least twice a day. I order only what I can eat. During parties in the office, surplus food is given to the maintenance people. Back home, in my family, if there is extra food, we share it with relatives and neighbours.”

Xiaoping Zhang, Chinese, businessman

“We try to eat fresh food as much as possible. That is part of our culture. We don’t want to waste food. We know how much we can eat and we buy and cook only as per our need. When we eat out, we take leftovers home. There are many stories in Chinese that teach us to value food. This education is important and I have taught my son this.”

Sara Kamal, Egyptian, Dubai Municipality employee

“We grocery shop weekly and not for the month and it could spoil. My mom knows how much we eat, so she cooks only what is required. If on occasion food is leftover, we either give it to the watchman or keep it in the fridge for the next day. When I eat out, I inform my mom not to cook for me.”

Brenda Verazon alias Ayisha, Filipino, admin officer

“I have three kids and we are eight in the family including my parents-in-law and sister-in-law. Usually, only what is required is cooked. If there is food leftover, my sister-in-law, who mainly does the cooking, puts it in the fridge to cook another dish of it the next day. Sometimes, we share food with our neighbours. We don’t buy in bulk to avoid wastage.”

Sarah Al Shammari, American-Kuwaiti, homemaker

“I only buy food items I know someone at home will eat. I buy smaller cans because I only need a little at a time. I try not to cook too much unless I know it will eaten the next day too. I keep bread in the fridge so it lasts longer, and I don’t have to throw it out every few days. I chop fresh herbs like parsley, coriander and mint and store them in the freezer so they last long.”

Kavita Chanderakant, Indian

“Food is considered a blessing in our culture, and it cannot be wasted. Leftovers are recycled into another dish. Some tips I practice at home: Ginger peels are washed and dried to use as spice in tea; used tea leaves are used as manure; lemon juice extracts are frozen as ice cubes. I reuse lemon peels to add flavour to food. If I have leftover milk and am travelling, I freeze it to be used when I return. There are many tricks not to waste food.”

Kholoud Kotait, Egyptian, student

“I started cooking only recently and with practice, I am cooking the exact amount I eat. If I make extra, I store it and have it for dinner or lunch the next day. I keep fruits in the fridge so they last longer. I have definitely become more conscious of not throwing out food, and buying what I need.”

Anita Viherpuro, Finland,

“Controlling food waste starts at the grocery store. I like to buy smaller packages or to put part of the bigger packages in the freezer to keep the food good for longer. I avoid going to the grocery store when I am hungry, so I don’t buy unnecessary items. Another way I reduce food wastage is with the help of pets. My family has pets who are very helpful in reducing food waste as they like to eat some of the leftovers. I freeze bread and cheese, and sometimes vegetables, so they last longer.”