If food waste was a country, it would be the third highest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations.
Producing food requires resources – from the fresh water and energy used in the harvesting and transportation, to the distribution and packaging processes and materials. Food waste accounts for these losses and then when left to rot in landfills, it produces methane – one of the most dangerous greenhouse gases – which contributes to global warming and our climate crisis.
Nobody is perfect and eliminating food waste completely in our day-to-day lives is difficult. We are often time poor or have plans change, over shop or cook too much, and are left with ingredients that are out of date and have to be binned. But taking simple steps to prevent this from happening is a step in the right direction. WWF predict that six to eight per cent of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced if we stop wasting food - so the stakes have never been higher.
How to prevent food waste at home:
Plan ahead: When heading to the supermarket or local grocery store, only buy what you need. Think about who you are catering for, what meals you are making and when, and don’t shop when you’re hungry as you’re bound to overfill your basket when your eyes are bigger than your stomach. The key is to not over-buy.
Use your freezer: Invest in storage container and load up your freezer with ingredients about to go out of date. You can also batch cook and pop in the freezer – you’ll be grateful for that bolognese or dahl in your drawer on a cold rainy day, easy to heat up.
Use up ingredients: A couple of bananas lying around – blend them up and make a smoothie. Too many veggies to eat in the next few weeks? Blitz up and make homemade sauces and soups.
There are plenty of ways to prevent waste at home, use up food and create delicious recipes athe same time. In need of some inspiration? Grab your hands on a no-waste cookbook and treat your taste buds and the planet to some heavenly eco-friendly recipes.
From veggie and vegan dishes to one-pot wonders, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite sustainable cookbooks with eco-loving concoctions to help you kick start your cooking.
Shop our best recommended no-waste cookbooks below...
One: Pot, Pan, Planet by Anna Janes
Whip up an array of delicious dishes inspired from across the globe with the latest cookbook from award-winning chef Anna Jones. Featuring more than 200 innovative recipes, all veggie or vegan, try her all-in-one sustainable approach to cooking with one-pot soups, one-tray dinners and one-pan dishes to reduce waste - without holding back on flavour.
From African Peanut Stew to Korean Carrot and Sesame Pancakes or Baked Dahl with Tamarind-glazed Sweet Potato, give her mindful cooking a go, sampling the show-stopping tastes while using up leftovers and stripping back on unused ingredients.
Throughout the book, she also gives handy practical advice on how to go greener in the kitchen, including tips on planning ahead and shopping wisely to eliminate waste.
Buy now £17.99, Amazon
The Zero Waste Cookbook by Giovanna Torrico and Amelia Wasiliev
Make the most of every scrap of ingredient when cooking, following over 100 simple recipes in The Zero Waste Cookbook. Split into chapters on fruit, vegetables, bread, dairy, meat and fish, get creative whizzing up flavoursome recipes while protecting the planet from excess waste. Leftover veggies? Pickle them. Overripe bananas, bake banana bread. Unused lemon rind? Infuse your vodka for a zesty cocktail. This cookbook has an answer for everything – use it as your kitchen bible to become the best eco-loving chef.
Buy now £16.99, Amazon
The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook by Linda Ly
Take on the challenge of whole plant cooking with this no-waste cookbook from author and member of Slow Food USA, Linda Ly. The goal is to use up every part of the vegetable, following Ly’s creative seasonal recipes to rustle up some original, show-stopping dishes, without any elements discluded.
The book is split into chapters, dedicating recipes to specific veggies, roots and pulses – there’s a section on tomatoes and peppers, one on leafy greens, and another on flowers and herbs. Make this your go-to handbook for leftover cooking inspiration with recipes such as Spicy Minty Tomato Sauce infused with Tomato Leaves, Yardlong Bean Curry with Wilted Spinach and Wild Mushroom and Goat Cheese Crostini.
Buy now £15.15, Amazon
Less Waste No Fuss Kitchen by Lindsay Miles
Less of a cookbook, more of a guidebook, make this an essential read for practical advice and tips on how to be more green in your kitchen and reduce your carbon footprint. The clue is in the name – it’s time for less waste and no fuss.
Featuring tips on how to use leftovers and what to do with ‘scraps’, how to adapt recipes with confidence to make use of your fridge/freezer contents, and how to store fruit and veg correctly to maximise its life and taste, this book will cover all bases.
Author Lindsay Miles is a waste and plastic-free living spokesperson and educator and uses her expertise to encourage simple swaps and actions to take in everyday life. However busy you may be, you can prevent waste and look out for the planet.
Buy now £12.00, Dunelm
The 7-Day Basket by Ian Haste
Create seven delicious recipes from one shopping basket with Ian Haste’s revolutionary cookbook. A simple concept, this book features 10 chapters, each with a shopping list at the beginning to see you through the week ahead with a variety of seven novel recipes.
This in turn will save you time and money, while protecting the planet from unnecessary food waste. In just one week, you could be eating a hearty Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Popped Tomatoes, Creamy Mushroom Stroganoff, Spicy Sesame Sea Bass Noodles… take the hassle out of meal planning and let someone do the work for you.
Buy now £13.94, Amazon
Too Good To Waste by Victoria Glass
What do you do with leftover rice, stale bread or unused ready-to-bin veggie peels? Victoria Glass has all the answers to switch up our ways in the kitchen, making sure we use up every bit of ingredient to prevent food waste.
With more than 100 inspiring ideas, follow her smart thinking and do your bit in helping the environment (and your wallet) and learn how to eat everything. Use up your lemons and limes in a zesty citrus cake, turn pumpkin skin into crisps, or why not transform stale bread into a sweet treacle tart with brown bread ice cream? The possibilities are endless with this cookbook.
Buy now £10.00, Amazon
Eating for Pleasure, People & Planet by Tom Hunt
Join Tom Hunt – award-winning chef, writer and food-waste campaigner – on his mission to prioritise the environment when cooking, without ever sacrificing on taste, pleasure and nutrition.
Starting with his ‘Root to Fruit’ manifesto, learn how to support biodiversity, choosing sustainable produce, and eating local, seasonal foods (and mostly plants). The book then follows with tasty recipes, including everything from morning meals and sweet treats to family suppers and large feast plates.
Arm yourself with his forward-thinking knowledge, and encourage others to shop, eat and cook more sustainably, at no extra cost.
Buy now £16.98, Amazon
Sustainable Kitchen by Sadhbh Moore and Abi Aspen Glencross
You may only see leftover grain seeded sourdough but this can create buckwheat waffles with rhubarb.Not only is this book full of flavoursome recipes to combat food waste, Sustainable Kitchen also contains invaluable tips and advice on creating a more eco-friendly cooking space.
From minimising energy and water use, and growing a kitchen garden, to using eco-cleaning products and reducing waste, it will show you just how every small action made can help make a big difference. The final chapter ‘Beyond the Book’ encourages you to practice these steps in your every day and take them into the wider community, and getting involved with promoting sustainable food.
Buy now £11.57, Amazon
30 Easy Ways to Join the Food Revolution by Ollie Hunter
Live, cook and eat more sustainably with this cookbook from Ollie Hunter. Featuring 30 ways to join the food revolution in order to fight against climate change and the strains on our environment, try some of his refreshing recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner to kickstart your journey to lower our carbon footprint.
First things first, Hunter emphasises the importance of local ingredients and then includes savvy tips to use up leftovers. Dishes included fresh soda bread, homemade paprika stew and an innovative tomato and raspberry salad.
Buy now £12.59, Amazon
Eat Green by Melissa Hemsley
Cut down on food waste thanks to Melissa Hemsley’s progressive cookbook, starring more than 100 veggie-based recipes, such as a warming squash and lentil curry with Thai gremolata, fridge raid frittata and melt-in-the-mouth tahini choc chip cookies.
After the foreword from Guy Singh-Watson, founder of Riverford’s seasonal organic recipe boxes, the book is split into sections including family favourites, 30 minutes or less and one pot or one tray meals, all focusing on using UK-grown, easy-to-buy ingredients. It also has chapters dedicated to ideas for using up off-cuts you may normally chuck, batch cooking advice and easy swaps to bring into your cooking to limit waste.
Buy now £19.15, Amazon
The Veg Box by Stephen and David Flynn
This book contains 10 vegetables in 10 ways – that means 100 recipes to get stuck into. Twin brothers Stephen and David Flynn bring a sustainable cookbook with plant-based meals based on just 10 staple veggies: aubergine, beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, courgette, leek, mushroom and potatoes.
Try their quick and easy-to-follow recipes to reach your five-a-day while looking out for the planet and reducing food waste. Lots of carrots? Whip up their chewy carrot flapjacks. Courgette fan? How about the courgette crepes with spinach and ricotta? All delicious, nutritious and family-friendly.
Buy now £12.00, Amazon