This week it emerged that UK consumers throw away 40% of the bagged salad they buy every year. That is 37,000 tonnes, the equivalent of 178million bags, going uneaten every year. Mind boggling figures.
But really when you think about it – this news is unsurprising. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t lost many a salad bag to a soggy fate at the back of the fridge and ultimately the bin. Many of us have good intentions to eat salad with every meal, but end up wasting it instead.
It turns out there is a simple, delicious solution (that I have tried and tested myself) – make and store a massive salad that will stay fresh and crisp all week long. If you have a busy lifestyle and not much time for cooking, this 10 minute salad preparation will save you money and time preparing meals and make you much more likely to actually eat the salad.How to make a delicious salad that lasts all week 1. Get the leaves out of the bagYes, I know it goes against all instincts, but the first tip is not to shove that bag of fresh salad at the back of the fridge. Instead, empty the whole packet into a big bowl and use as the base of your salad. 2. Add your extrasThere are plenty of delicious salad recipes out there – but the idea here is to make a base salad that you can add to anything. So I tend to only add a few of my favourite staple salad vegetables – tomatoes, peppers, carrots and olives. Seeds and nuts are also delicious extras with amazing health benefits that will stay fresh in your salad all week. 3. Store your saladThis is the crucial step – store your salad in an airtight container with a piece of paper kitchen towel. Sounds bizarre but this method has been tried and tested by salad enthusiasts and proves extremely effective. The paper towel absorbs excess moisture and keeps your salad fresh.
4. Use that salad however and whenever you wantI found when I used this method, my salad had all gone in three days and I had been able to actually get those difficult to eat greens in my diet! Once you have a base, you can add anything you want to it the next day – cooked meat, beans, lentils, avocados and salad dressing of your choice, or simply add it as a side dish to any meal.
5. Dispose of any waste properlyIf you do have any leftover salad or food waste make sure to dispose of it properly! Check with your local council if they provide food waste caddies and the correct caddy liners you should use with them. Alternatively you can compost your salad and a lot of other food waste. Check with your local council to see if they offer discounted compost bin through GetComposting and pick one up cheaply! Here at Local Green Points we run schemes on behalf of local councils and employers to incentivise residents to dispose of waste properly. Our Food Waste Challenge rewards residents for reducing the amount of food they throw away and encourages positive behaviour change.
Find out more information about our recycling reward schemes here.