Pabitra Poudel with the amount of food an average New Zealand household wastes in a week. Photo: Kate Russell.

Fighting food waste


Pabitra Poudel is learning how her family can reduce their food waste.

“I want to make sure we’re not throwing food away,” says the mum of two.

Pabitra attended the ‘Avoiding Food Trash and Saving You Cash’ workshop at the Victory Community Centre on Friday.

Hosted by Nelson City Council and led by Gileen Caughey from FoodSense, locals learned how to make the most of their food.

Pabitra says leftover rice and vegetables are the main culprits in her house and the workshop gave her some good ideas to try – such as cooking less food to avoid leftovers.

She says, in the past her family would rarely eat leftovers from the night before.

“We never did it. Nowadays, we have to eat it.”

She also wants to learn how to recycle her food scraps.

“We don’t use the scraps – we need to recycle them and learn an easy way to do it at home.”

Gileen says the foods most often found in our trash cans include bread, fruit, leftovers, potatoes, poultry, rice, lettuce, and beef.

On average, New Zealand households waste 3.15kg of food a week and cumulatively $1.17 billion worth of food each year.

Gileens’s top tips are to use up what you already have, make a meal plan each week, shop with a list, store fruit and vegetables correctly and eat leftovers.

Karen Lee, environmental programmes advisor at council, says Nelsonians are pretty good at not wasting food, but there is always room for improvement.

“There is lots of really good information out there about how to avoid food waste and it’s all about sharing those ideas with each other.”