Using Portion Control To Avoid Food Waste

Usually we encounter portion control when we are trying to shed a few kilos, but portion control doesn't have to be a tactic used only for dieting; it can actually help in avoiding food waste. We've all likely found ourselves in a situation where there's too much food left on your plate to fit into your very full stomach, but not enough to pack away for another meal. This often happens when we overestimate how much food we really need to cook, the main culprits being rice and pasta. I've been in a situation many times where I've gone to make myself enough rice for one serve and have ended up with enough to feed the entire block. Luckily, rice can be incorporated into many different recipes, but if it's not enough to provide for another meal it often ends up in the bin.

It is estimated that Australians alone throw out eight billion dollars worth of edible food every year. Portion control can be a huge fix to this problem.

This guide is extremely helpful for those of us who are trying to reduce food waste by outlining the proper amount of food to cook per serving. It covers everything from rice to quinoa, pasta to potatoes. On top of reducing food waste it can also help with overconsumption, which can save money and prevent us from eating more than we need to. If you're planning to make enough rice to feed yourself for three meals, the guide suggests you cook 225 grams. This way you can easily distribute your rice into three servings and you'll be set for three meals.

Preparing a salad for your family? It is suggested that to serve 4 people you should be using 120 grams of salad leaves (30 grams per person). Green leafy salad is an especially important meal to get the correct portions for because it doesn't keep very well for a long period of time.

Pasta has more of a varied range, and it also depends on the type (dried, fresh, or egg noodles). For one serving of dried pasta it is suggested to cook 75-100 grams. This is a bit of a wide range, but it depends on the type of dried pasta, and how much you are planning to eat. But, anywhere in that range should prevent you from cooking enough to feed your entire extended family.

Quinoa is one of the foods that I always get wrong. I either end up with way more than I could ever imagine eating, or not enough to come close to what I need. For one serve of quinoa you should cook 60 grams.

[Image: Shutterstock]

Portion control doesn't mean cooking less, it just means cooking an amount that you will actually eat – and this doesn't mean you have to eat it all at once. It's actually better to cook a larger amount of food in one go so you aren't using as much energy every single day. But, you have to make sure you are going to eat all of the food you make for various meals throughout the week. When cooking meals that will end up as leftovers keep in mind how well the food will keep and even consider freezing some of it for a later date.

Avoiding food waste is really simple once you get the hang of it. Remember, wasting food doesn't just mean you're wasting your own time and money. There is a lot of hard work, time, energy and resources that go into food production, and throwing it in the bin puts all of those resources to waste.

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Tess Baldwin Former Intern Suggest an article Send us an email

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