Free course shows how to stop binning edible food
Waipa¯ District Council is sponsoring Kate Meads from Waste Free Kate & Co to give locals a free online Food Lovers Master Class. The educational course attendees will learn the “what, why, and how” of Kiwis’ food waste, and the knowledge and strategies to reduce food waste and save money in their households. With 80 spots available, everyone who registers for the course and completes a short evaluation will receive a goodie bag valued at $40, to help kick-start waste minimisation efforts. Packs include beeswax wraps, silicon ice block moulds and other items personally tested out by Kate. Council’s waste minimisation officer Sally Fraser said the course was coming at a perfect time with the dramatic increase in food prices in New Zealand. A food price index run by Statistics New Zealand found that March’s food prices had increased 6.8 per cent in the year ending February 2022, with fruit and vegetables going up 17 per cent compared with February 2021. “We want to help our Waipa¯ residents to think more about the food they have and shop better to really make the money we spend on food worthwhile.” Food waste is prevalent in New Zealand, with fresh fruit and vegetables the largest contributor to food waste by weight, making up half of all food in our rubbish bins, said Sally. With meat, poultry and fish 7.1 per cent dearer than this time last year, steps could be taken to reduce the wastage of these costly items. “Just over half of meat, poultry, and fish items found in the rubbish were bones and shellfish shells, so that means just under half was perfectly good to eat, but for some reason or another, it ended up going to landfill. “We hope that through the course Waipa¯ residents gain the tools to be able to reduce their food waste and save themselves money.” The course is free, with participants given a month to watch the content at their leisure. The course is broken out into short videos covering a range of topics, including understanding best-before dates, using your freezer and what to do with leftovers. “Kate has been working in food waste education for over 10 years and has hosted several Food Lovers Master Classes in Waipa¯ over the past five years. But due to people leading busy lives and the difficulty to run events in person, we are offering this course online this year,” said Sally. “Attendees in the past found Kate’s stories and personal advice really spot on, sometimes hilarious. There will be something in there for everyone.” Waipa¯ locals can register online at katemeads.co.nz/collections/ waipa. Registrations close at 9am, Monday, May 16.