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food waste

Nine ways to cut back on food waste this Ramadan #FastOnWaste

For many Muslims, Ramadan is a month that inspires reflection on our relationship with food. We often consider the amount of food we consume, however it is time we gave more thought to the alarming amount of food that goes to waste in this month.

“Do not waste [anything] in excess, for God loves not the wasteful.” [Qur’an 6:141]

Food waste is one of the largest contributors to climate change, with the global food system accounting for 25-30% of all greenhouse gases, whilst in the UK around 70% of all food waste comes from our homes!

Muslims believe that Allah made us stewards of this earth, and so as we embark on this Holy Month, we should consider our Amanah (responsibility) to the planet and seek ways to reduce our own waste.

Here are our nine top tips on how you can #FastOnWaste this Ramadan:

1. Plan meals and shop intentionally 

One of the biggest causes of food waste during Ramadan is buying too much food and not using it before it spoils. Make a list of what you need before you go food shopping, stick to your list.

Creating a weekly meal plan before you go shopping will go a long way in helping you stay disciplined with what you buy – it will save you money too! This will also free up your time for more important matters this Ramadan. 

2. Set your fridge at the right temperature!

The optimal temperature for a fridge should be between 0-5°C. Often food goes off much earlier than it should because we’ve failed to make sure the temperature is right. 

3. Get creative with leftovers

There are lots of creative ideas that can be found on internet for how to use up your leftover meals. Whether that’s using up leftover bread to make bread pudding or making crisps out of leftover potato peel – the possibilities are endless!

4. Freeze it!

We know our families like variety in Ramadan, so if you know you’re not going to eat your leftover meals, freeze them for later. You can also freeze all sorts of fruits and vegetables to preserve their freshness. 

Alternatively, batch cooking your meals in advance and then freezing them is a great way of using up surplus ingredients, whilst ensuring you’re always well-stocked with delicious meals. 

5. Check the use-by dates of fresh food when you buy it

Remember to judge whether you will eat something by the use-by date, and not the best-before date. Only buy something if you think you will consume it in time.  

6. Organise your fridge

Keep your fridge tidy and use clear storage containers so that you can clearly see what you have – if you can see it, you’re less likely to forget about it. 

7. Recycle your food waste

Check out your local council’s website to see whether they can provide a food compost bin, which is collected in the same way all your other waste is. You can also consider home composting to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill. 

8. Share food with others

The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “The best of you are those who feed others.” [Ahmad]

Sharing food is a central part of Ramadan. It is a time for community and generosity. By sharing our food with others, we reduce waste and help those in need. 

If it’s not possible to distribute food to your family or neighbours, then you should always consider donating what you can’t eat to a food bank or community soup kitchen. Alternatively, try using a food waste app such as OLIO or Too Good To Go which are great tools for minimising waste. 

9. Spread the word and #FastOnWaste

The more people know about the effect of food waste on our climate, the greater chance we have in collectively reducing our impact. Spread the word amongst your family and friends, share this blog article with your networks.

Join Islamic Relief on our #FastOnWaste challenge by implementing the actions above. Let’s try our best to only use what we already have in in fridge/freezer and cupboards, to make delicious meals this Ramadan for the whole family. 

Ramadan is a fantastic opportunity to create new habits that will see us through the whole year and beyond, and cutting down our waste is a fantastic place to start. 

Climate change is devasting the lives of many of our rightsholders in some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities. The people least responsible for climate breakdown are suffering the most from its consequences.

By doing our part, in our homes, our communities and with our partners we can ensure that we are contributing to the protection of our planet and the people most adversely affected by the climate crisis. 

Ramadan Mubarak from all of us at Islamic Relief!

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