MasterChef contestants take up the fight against food waste across Australia

Fresh from his time back in the MasterChef kitchen Simon Toohey and fellow contestant Mandy Hall have partnered with the Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) to raise awareness of how we can all save money by reducing food waste.

Through the power of social media, the Fight Food Waste CRC campaign also has the support of participants the NSW Government’s Love Food Hate Waste program, Sustainability Victoria, the ACT Government, Green Industries SA, East Waste, OzHarvest, UK-based waste action group WRAP and Woolworths towards Australia’s National Food Waste Strategy goal of reducing food waste by half by 2030.

Mr Toohey said he hoped his time on MasterChef showed that you can be creative in the kitchen whilst still reducing your food waste.

“We were taught the wrong thing when we were younger,” Mr Toohey said.

“I now use a whole cauliflower instead of wasting so much of it, even the leaves are delicious baked up as chips or as a substitute for kale.

“My new YouTube show The Whole Thing shows just how simple it can be.”

Like Simon, Mandy Hall has taken her own unique approach to reducing food waste as a queen of fermenting and pickling, as well as designing recipes for the bits others consider scraps, like carrot top salsa verde, spinach stalk pies and banana skin sliders.

“Fermentation is the ultimate form of food preservation, not only does it reduce waste, it takes what’s good, boosts it with huge new flavours and leaves it teaming with good stuff,” Ms Hall said.

“Left at room temperature, a cabbage will turn mushy and mouldy. But chop it up and ferment it and you’ll have it for over a year if you keep it in a cool spot.”

Dr Steven Lapidge, Chief Executive Officer, Fight Food Waste CRC, said that there are 7.3 million tonnes of food wasted each year.

“That is enough to fill semi-trailers that would stretch from Perth to Sydney,” Dr Lapidge said.

“There is a huge opportunity for every one of us to take stock and really start to value their food again, to really love our leftovers and save some money in the process.

“Over the next three months, our social media campaign will provide tips and tricks to reduce food waste and save you money, like sticking your eggs in a bowl of water to check they sink and are still good to eat, even beyond their best before date.”

Follow the campaign on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FightFoodWasteAus and Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fightfoodwaste_aus and visit the new content hub for more tips and tricks: www.fightfoodwastecrc.com.au/itseasyas